• Oct 11th 2010 at 2:55PM
  • 14
2,500th Think City – Click above for high-res image

Things are going well for Think right now. The 2,500th City electric vehicle has rolled off the production line in Valmet, Finland making the car, in Think CEO Barry Engle's words, "the best-selling electric car in the world today." What's more exciting, though, is that the company's U.S. production plans are looking to be moving up. Instead of a possible 2013 opening, Think's Elkhart, IN plant should be making the third-generation City should by 2011. The plant will start operations by doing "final assembly" of 500 City vehicles later this year. These vehicles will be shipped from Finland as gliders (i.e., without parts of the powertrain) and be given their EnerDel batteries and other U.S.-sourced components in Indiana. Think had originally planned to ship the batteries to Finland and then ship the completed cars to "select customers" in the U.S., but changed its plans.

A Think spokesperson told AutoblogGreen that:
Think is readying the Elkhart plant to complete assembly work on largely built-up vehicles that are arriving from the Valmet Plant in Finland. Sales to U.S. customers will begin in December, with most of the first cars to be sold to fleets.
Note that the comments that follow the [
ETruth] story for some reason include the wildly inaccurate claim that THINK is seeking a $25 billion loan from the government. While the company has never dimensioned the dollar amount of the loan it is seeking from the Department of Energy, it is safe to say that it is nowhere near that amount!
The U.S.-bound Think City models will use a new Enerdel lithium ion battery in place of the old Zebra battery. The American-made battery has a capacity of 25 kilowatt-hours, which gives the Think a nominal 100-mile range on a charge.

Think is apparently using 95 percent of the battery's capacity, which could have some negative consequences on the lifespan of the battery pack. The new battery does provide higher power and a faster charging rate than the zebra battery. The performance of the Think is still pretty limited – a top speed of just 68 miles per hour – but a Green Car Advisor crew did manage to get 43.5 miles of fairly aggressive driving with 38 percent of the battery charge left. That works out to a range of 75 miles in similar conditions. No U.S. pricing or official launch date has been announced yet, but Think obviously wants to get here as quickly as its little wheels can roll.

[Source: ETruth, Green Car Advisor]

PRESS RELEASE

Electric Vehicle Maker THINK Builds 2,500th World's Best-Selling City Model

Company Gears Up for December Sales Launch of the Famed Car in U.S.

OSLO, Norway (October 11, 2010) – THINK, the world's leading dedicated electric vehicle manufacturer, announces the production of the 2,500th unit of the THINK City pure electric vehicle, designed for urban use.

"This milestone event further solidifies the THINK City as the best-selling electric car in the world today," commented THINK CEO Barry Engle.

The 2,500th City came off the assembly line today at Oslo-based THINK's production facility in Europe, where the vehicle has been fully highway safety certified since 1999. THINK engineers estimate that the City has accumulated 35 million zero-emissions road miles to date. The company has begun preparations to build the sturdy and reliable two-seat commuter at a plant in the American heartland in Elkhart, Indiana and plans to launch fleet and retail sales in December.

"Bringing this well-established electric nameplate to America for the first time is a landmark event in THINK's long history," added Engle. "As electric transportation goes mainstream, the U.S. stands to become the largest electric car market in the world. We expect the tried-and-tested City to be among the most visible EVs on America's streets and highways in the very near future."

THINK has been a unique innovator in pure electric vehicle and power-train technology for nearly twenty years, positioning the company as a world-leader in producing cars on a dedicated electric platform. The City can maintain speeds of 70 miles per hour and travel up to 100 miles on a single charge.

The THINK City model is currently in its second production version. A third version is scheduled to be produced in the U.S. and come on the market in late 2012. European production of the City takes place in Finland at the renowned contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive, which also assembles the Cayman model for Porsche AG.

Photo Caption: Staff at Valmet celebrates production of the milestone 2,500th THINK City – the world's best-selling electric car.

About THINK:
THINK is a pioneer in electric vehicles and a leader in electric vehicle technology, developed and proven over 20 years. This heritage gives THINK a head start with nearly 10,000 electric vehicles on the road and more than 56 million kilometres (35 million miles) of customer experience. The THINK City, the first EV to be granted pan–European regulatory safety approval, is sold across Europe, with sales and production about to start in the US and operations being developed in Asia.

THINK is also a leader in electric drive-system technology, and was the first to offer a modular and flexible EV drive-train solution in the business-to-business sector. With its Scandinavian origins and sustainability mindset, THINK is one of the most carbon-efficient car companies in the world
.


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  • 14 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Your saying Think will allow the battery to go discharge 95% of capacity? But, if the owner never let's it go below 50% then there's no problem, correct?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hmm, depends... Fully charging Lithium batteries is also not very good for their cycle life. So the user would have to stop charging before it gets fully charged. But that could also damage the pack if you do it all the time since most Battery Management Systems balance the cells only when they are almost fully charged and start to rise their voltage rapidly.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm in Europe and traveling a lot abroad trough European countries... Never seen one except on the IAA in Frankfurt.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Europe is a continent. I doubt you travel through all 50 countries regularly?

        Not that it matters since the Think was originally only sold in Norway... it's not widely sold now either :)

        They're a normal sight here in Norway.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have driven one. It had a nice solid feel as far as the ride goes, and it should do fine for many commutes. I drive 45 miles round trip each day and the roads are 35-55 mph typically 45 mph (although I drive somewhat faster) with some stop and go but mostly small hills and corners. This would be a fine car for that type of driving because of the quick feel to acceleration and the solid ride. However, emperorkoku is correct, the price is going to have to be right. They're going to have to beat the price on the Leaf. At three bucks a gallon for gas, I think I need to see a price at 20K after incentives, just from a cost of driving argument. If you now start talking about other asthetics maybe 18 or 19K would be better.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't agree with the male/female issue, but I certainly agree with the LEAF competition. The Th!nk is a very nice little car, and I like the plastic body, BUT, it is only 2 seater and in no way matches the LEAF in capacity, range, or speed. The only way it can compete is with a much lower price. I don't see it coming out at $16k or less, do you? It will have to, to sell.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If it was the cheapest electric car on the market by ~$5k (25k to Leaf's 30k?), I would buy it. I like it considerably more than the Leaf (ugly), but I don't think I could justify it at $30k.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe they should partner with zipcar....I could see this being great for car sharing but not sure how many people not living in a gated community would want one.
        • 4 Years Ago
        all that plastic would mean that it's easy to clean. Looks like rental car duty to me.
      • 4 Years Ago
      There's something about the Th!nk I've always liked but in the US it will have a hard time competing with the Leaf. Plus I'm sure male drivers would have their masculinity questioned if driving the Th!nk, but I doubt that would happen in the Leaf.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It is kinda the equivalent of a VW beetle, ain't it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Any europeans on here actually seeing these on the streets? or are they being used primarily as NEV golf carts and clown cars? ;)
        • 4 Years Ago
        They're a normal sight here in Oslo, Norway.

        Not surprising since the company is Norwegian and has produced them here for some time... before moving it to Finland.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Haven't seen one here in Germany, but I guess that's because we're slightly retarded when it comes to electric cars... among other things.

        I live in a "model region" for EVs, but to be honest, I expect to see more of them across the border in the Netherlands and Belgium than over here.
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