Pivco, the Norwegian company behind the Think electric vehicle, is seeking £10m to keep production plans alive.
The funds need to be in place before Christmas if Think is to go into production next year. Original production plans for 1,500 cars have been scaled back to 800. Former stakeholders, including the national energy company Statoil, have pulled out but may reinvest in the project if it survives.
Pivco, founded in 1991 by Norwegian entrepreneur Jan Otto Ringdal, filed for bankruptcy at the end of October. ‘We were not able to raise sufficient funding to put the car into production,’ said Egil Mollestad, technical director with the Oslo firm ‘With no more capital we could not continue.’
Earlier this month Ringdal took back all the rights to the Think from the receiver and formed a new company, Pivco Industries. He has increased his shareholding from about 36% to 80%.
Former managers and employees have taken 10% of the equity. The Norwegian government holds the balance.
The Government has invested £60m 70m in the project since 1991 and has pledged a further £1.5m if Pivco manages to obtain the £10m from private sources.
Poor economic conditions in Norway have led Pivco to focus on drawing in foreign investors.
‘Our ideal investor would be an industrial partner that can bring some additional competencies and not just cash,’ said Mollestad.
Pivco has a number of customers lined up for Think, including the Norwegian postal service.