Think investment is driving Ener1 off a cliff

Battery maker Ener1 (s HEV) already was forced to write down a $59.4 million impairment charge for its investment in electric vehicle maker Think for the first quarter of this year, after Think headed into bankruptcy. But now it’s time for Ener1 to report its second quarter earnings and the Think problem is still weighing down the company.

Ener1 delayed its second quarter financial reporting on August 9, and then said on August 16 that it needs to restate its earnings for the first quarter of 2011, and the full year 2010, because of a review of its accounting of its Think impairment. Ener1 says in the filing that:

Ener1 is currently in the process of determining whether the Company has sufficient liquidity to fund its operations.

Ener1 has done a preliminary restatement of its revenues and net income for 2010, and the first quarter of 2011, and now says its net loss for 2010 was $165.32 million, which is almost a $100 million more than its previously stated net loss for 2010 of $68.80 million. For the first quarter of 2011, Ener1 says it now has lost $20.48 million, which is actually a smaller net loss than it previously reported for the first quarter of $84.72 million. One of the problems looks like more of the impairment charge was supposed to be recorded in 2010, than in the first quarter of 2011.

We’ll see if Ener1 can continue its operations. Previously when the company announced that it was cutting its losses on Think it said it was moving more toward selling its lithium ion batteries to the power grid market. Ener1’s stock is now down 6.39 percent and trading at 43 cents.

Norwegian electric car maker Think declared bankruptcy at the end of June. About a month later, Think said that Russian investor and entrepreneur Boris Zingarevich had bought the assets of the company, as well as Think North America and Think U.K. Kleiner Perkins investor Ray Lane explained to me its investment in Think North America at the end of this interview (they don’t own anything anymore).

Here’s my video test drive of the Think City: