"So about those free cars you donated to us..."

The city government of Evansville, IN, which was given five all-electric City cars by now-bankrupt electric-vehicle maker Think USA, says that only one is functional because the other four vehicles' computer memories were erased because of improper recharging, the city's NBC affiliate reported on its website.

Evansville, which received the cars seven months ago, is using only one car – for parking meter service – and the other four are idle. City officials said they weren't informed that the car's batteries were not supposed to be recharged from a 120-volt outlet and required a 240-volt source, according to WFIE Channel 14. This is the first we've heard of this sort of damage from a standard outlet, and goes against the 110V-plug on the included charging cord (see picture here).

Evansville representatives are hoping to get the four disabled cars reprogrammed so that they can be used for water, sewer and building commission services.

Norway-based Think, which went bankrupt last June even after receiving a $118.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, made its U.S. battery-electric vehicles in Elkhart, IN, about 350 miles north of Evansville on the other side of the state. Lithium-ion battery maker Ener1, an investor in Think, subsequently went bankrupt in late January, and has since announced plans to emerge from bankruptcy.