EnerDel Laying Off Workers; Is Battery Maker Underwater Again?

AUG 6 2013 BY MARK KANE 11

Think City with EnerDel battery pack

Think City with EnerDel battery pack

According to an IBJ report, Li-Ion battery maker EnerDel is again in trouble.

The company is struggling with lack of orders and downsized its Indianapolis-area work force by approximately one third.

“About 65 people, from production workers to management, were let go on July 26, CEO David Roberts confirmed. He said the company is referring to the layoff as a “furlough” that is indefinite.”

Volvo C30 EV with EnerDel battery pack

EnerDel CEO believes that the situation will improve, but the truth is that the market is flooded by overcapacity and that makes it hard for small battery manufacturers to survive.

“We’re very confident our business is going to improve and we’re going to be able to call back some of these people.”

Several years ago, EnerDel had bold plans to “create 1,400 jobs in Marion and Hancock counties“, but that now seems unlikely to happen.

The company also received “about $55 million in renewable energy economic stimulus grants from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009″, but a mistaken investment in Think done by Ener1 (parent company) led to heavy losses, withdrawal from NASDAQ, bankruptcy protection, and investors taking it private in 2012.

Now, a year after restructuring, similar problems seem to be back for Enerdel again.

Source:  IBJ.com

Categories: General


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11 Comments on "EnerDel Laying Off Workers; Is Battery Maker Underwater Again?"

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Like the idiots at A123, Enerdel refuses to sell their cells to those who want to buy them.
Inexplicably moronic but so it has been. And so they die.

Yup. Good luck with that “indefinite furlough”.

Could you elaborate on this statement? That is the first I’ve heard of it.

They don’t sell to people who want to do conversions. Millions and millions of dollars a year is going to China to buy large format lithium prismatic cells, just like EnerDel sells. They are throwing all that business to the Chinese while they layoff workers here in the US.

I can sort of understand this. I mean, if they have to warranty them and all. Hobbyists may not use them in a way that guarantees they are operating in the conditions they are designed for. I think if I were them, I’d offer the cells with a very limited warranty for hobbyists.

Very true. Hobbiests are willing to take a chance. Label the batteries as such, perhaps punch a hole or two in a tab to mark them as warranty-limited (much like CDs are punched in stores when returned). A123 did a disservice to themselves. Hobbiests could have actually help save the company with $millions in revenue over the years.

try to buy from A123 or Enerdel David.
A123 will let you buy cells form their hobbystore retail site at ridiculous prices. They wont let you buy at reasonable prices. And even that is only recent.
For instance their 20Ah cells is priced 70$. That’s over 1000$/kWh.
You can buy the same cells from china for under 20$

Did they ever get any design wins? Think doesn’t count because they are dead. Volvo is just a small amount.

A contributing factor as I see it, is that so many manufactures have “minimum purchase amount” requirements that are too high for anyone to work with.

If I called A123 or Enerdel and said I need 1000 cells, their response might be “Is that per day?”

I might want to convert my ICE car into a purely electric car, but as pointed out, most manufactures don’t want to bother with such a small order. Turn around and say you want 100,000 per week, and they’ll be glad to help.

I’ve heard it said that if you pick and choose your customers, you might not have enough to choose from.

Isn’t this the group that had the prototype for that better Li-ion cell that had twice the energy density? The cell that would enable 500-mile EVs?

Yes and GM invested (or am I mistaken?) a million or three with them in partnership.