Once-Fading Battery Maker Rebounding After 'Right-Sizing'

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Mike Canada joined EnerDel in 2014. Mike Canada joined EnerDel in 2014.
INDIANAPOLIS -

The chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based EnerDel Inc. says the company is transitioning to profitability this year for the first time in its history. Mike Canada, who took the helm at the lithium-ion battery maker two years after its parent predecessor Ener1 filed for bankruptcy in 2012, says EnerDel has been "right-sizing" ever since. Backed by an exclusive agreement with Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ALSN) and deals with municipalities like Washington D.C. and Seattle to power public transit, Canada says EnerDel has reached a pivotal year.

During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Canada discussed potential areas of growth. He says opportunities exist to "continue to increase our penetration with the all-electric bus market segment, as well as the hybrid market segment, and we will re-enter the large stationary grid market segments." The company currently employs nearly 80 and it says it plans to add a small number each month.

Canada says EnerDel is a different company than its predecessor, which he refers to as "the Tesla before its time" when the focus was more on electric car technology. Plans that never came together were big for the old parent company: three facilities throughout central Indiana and tens of millions of dollars in new investment to grow its work force by some 1,400. Canada says 2009 and 2010 proved "there just wasn't a market there to support the demands."

EnerDel is also focusing heavily on micro-grid technology, which Canada believes could also provide growth in the future. "We launched our micro-grid products with the Army Corps of Engineers, the Army and the Air Force last year. We just completed a one-year demonstration," Canada said. "We deployed 11 systems to the Air Force and they were very successful."

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