Parent of Obama-backed battery maker goes bankrupt

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The parent company of an electric car battery maker that received a $118 million grant from the Obama administration has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Ener1 said it has been affected by competition from China and other countries.

Ener1 subsidiary EnerDel received a $118 million stimulus grant from the Energy Department in 2009, and Vice President Biden visited the company’s new battery plant in Indiana last year.

An Energy Department spokeswoman said EnerDel had received $55 million so far. Ener1 said the restructuring would not affect EnerDel’s operations.

Ener1 is the third company to seek bankruptcy protection after receiving assistance from the Energy Department under the economic stimulus law. California solar panel maker Solyndra Inc. and Beacon Power, a Massachusetts energy-storage firm, declared bankruptcy last year.