CEO, Ener1 Inc., Chairman, Think
Chosen because: Under Gassenheimer, 37, who came to Ener1 in 2006 after a career in finance, the company was the first in the United States to have commercial scale production of automotive-grade lithium ion batteries. It received a $118.5 million grant from the U.S. government in 2009 and partners with the Argonne National Laboratory in battery development. Ener1's batteries are in the Think City electric vehicle, and will be in the Volvo C30 electric vehicle and C70 plug-in hybrid. Ener1 also makes battery production equipment and rapid charging systems through partnerships with Itochu Corp. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. In May, concluding that EV adoption would be slow, Ener1 returned its 31 percent stake in Norwegian electric car maker Think and took a $73.3 million write down.
Quote: "Energy storage can change industries like microchips did."