• Jan 13th 2011 at 2:01PM
  • 12
In early December, Think delivered the first batch of U.S.-built electric Citys to the State of Indiana. In total, 15 battery-powered Citys, produced at Think's manufacturing facility in Elkhart, IN, were handed over to the Indiana Department of Administration for use by the Department of Natural Resources.
Yesterday, Think announced that it has wheeled out an additional 17 City electrics and handed the keys over to utility fleet customers and employees in Indiana. Four of the battery-powered Citys were delivered to employees at the Indianapolis Power and Light Company (IPL) and three more will join the IPL's fleet. Meanwhile, ten of the U.S.-built Citys shipped off to Duke Energy in Plainfield, IN.

Think is actively working with Duke Energy, IPl and the Energy Systems Network (ESN) to collect data on the deployment and use of electric vehicles for ESN's Project Plug-IN. Many of the battery-powered Citys produced at the Elkhart facility in early 2011 will ship out to local fleets and select individuals participating in Project Plug-IN.

[Source: Think]

PRESS RELEASE

THINK™ DELIVERS U.S.-BUILT ELECTRIC CARS TO INDIANA UTILITIES


Duke Energy, Indianapolis Power & Light Company and IPL Employees Receive 17 THINK Vehicles

INDIANAPOLIS -- January 13, 2010 – Four Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) employees are among the first customers in the country to own and drive pure electric cars from THINK™, the world's leading dedicated electric vehicle maker. Their cars were among 17 THINK City electric cars delivered to utility fleet customers and employees in Indiana. Duke Energy in Plainfield, Ind. received 10 electric THINK City cars, and the remainder were delivered to Indianapolis Power & Light for company fleet use.

"I wanted to be among the first to buy an electric car, because I think it's the right thing to do," said IPL employee Brenda Owens. "I don't like the fact that we are so dependent on imported oil. We need to find a better alternative." Owens also sees electric cars as a way to help her employer find new markets for electricity.

"I'm spending a lot of time talking to people about electric cars," she continued. "Usually they want to know how many miles it goes on a gallon [of gas]. They are surprised to find out it does not use any gas and that this technology is here and available today."

"Electric utilities and their employees are a natural extension of our fleet strategy," said THINK spokesperson Brendan Prebo. "By targeting electric utilities in the early deployment of EVs, we can help address several important challenges to the successful commercialization of these cars, such as establishing residual values for batteries, the cost of installing infrastructure and understanding the local impact of charging networks on the grid. Electric utilities are impacted by all of these issues, not only as customers, but also as fuel and service providers."

Establishing residual values for batteries is an important industry issue, because batteries contribute significantly to the overall cost of electric vehicles. When advanced Lithium-ion batteries are no longer fit for automotive use, they still may be able to store 70 - 80 percent of their original energy capacity making them useful for grid applications such as back-up energy storage.

THINK is working with Duke, IPL and the Energy Systems Network (ESN) to collect data on the deployment and use of electric cars as part of Project Plug-IN.

THINK has contracted with Tom Wood Automotive in Indianapolis to support the sale and service of THINK City electric cars in the metropolitan area.

"We are excited to be a part of the future of the auto industry, which represents green, sustainable cutting-edge technology," said Jeff Wood, CEO of Tom Wood Automotive. "The fact that the cars are built in Indiana and are being sold as part of Project Plug-IN, makes it part of a community effort that we want to support."

By early 2011, Project Plug-IN will place 100 or more electric vehicles and supporting charging infrastructure with government and corporate fleets, as well as selected individual commuters, across the Indianapolis metropolitan area.

The THINK City model is an all-electric, zero-emission car designed in Scandinavia for fleet applications and urban commuters. Durable, highly maneuverable and with low maintenance, the THINK City can travel 100 miles on a single charge, using advanced Lithium-ion batteries manufactured in Indiana by Ener1, Inc. The vehicle has accumulated more than 35 million road miles in customer experience since it was first safety certified in Europe in 1999. THINK plans to roll out retail distribution in select U.S. cities in the second half of 2011.

About THINK

THINK is the world's leading dedicated electric vehicle manufacturer, developed and proven over 20 years. This heritage gives THINK a head start with having put nearly 10,000 electric vehicles on the road and accumulated more than 35 million road miles of customer experience. The THINK City, the first electric car to be granted pan–European regulatory safety approval, is sold across Europe, with sales and production in the U.S. and operations being developed in Asia.

THINK is also a leader in electric drive train technology, and was the first to offer a modular and flexible electric 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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Way to go Think! Keep it up. Do a redesign, get 4 full-sized people inside the car, and (as always) MAKE THE 'OPEN' CONVERTIBLE MODEL!. :-)


      So who gets these Thinks? Meter-readers?
      • 4 Years Ago
      the comments in the press release made me think for a minute

      The Think gets INFINITE miles per gallon: put 5 gallons in the car, drive 100 miles, you still have 5 gallons! 100 miles / 0 gallons = INFINITY!

      for real though, I've been following this and I'm glad to see a product roll-off that's going as planned. No vaporware here! And marketed to the appropriate market (me) I think they'll do well compared to larger sedans that have had an electric drive system superimposed.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Me and 3-4 of my co-workers will be receiving our Think City's next week...Can't wait, what perfect timing, the gas prices get jacked up to almost $3.50/gallon . Now I can drive right past those gas stations!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Congrats to Think for those *real* deliveries. They are no longer vaporware now.

      As for the design...I know that matte paint jobs are all the rage right now, but in this case it makes the vehicle looks cheaper. I'm afraid that Think City is what electric cars *used* to look like: small cars, small wheels and limited cargo space.

      Focusing on business & government fleet sales was the best decision they ever made. The car is perfect for that.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Plastic Panels
        I know these are plastic panels. There are obvious advantages, including ease of maintenance and manufacturing. My point is that on *this* car, it does look cheap. If I'm asked to pay 30K for a car like this, I may want to choose another car with a more conventional finish.

        The Tesla Roadster's body is in carbon fiber, ye they offer a wide range of conventional car finishes. There's no reason they couldn't do the same, albeit at the cost of scratches.

        @ Vaporware No More
        Their goal was to manufacture and sell vehicles **in the US**. They have succeeded where BYD and others have failed so far. How many car companies around the world have promised to buy a factory in the US and and start producing cars? How many have delivered as Think just did?

        • 4 Years Ago
        To be accurate they sold cars for over ten years, and have been overseas. I used to own one and they are great city cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        1. They were never vaporware - as pointed out, they have been built and sold abroad for quite a while.

        2. That isn't paint. The car is made using plastic body panels that are that color all the way through.

        • 4 Years Ago
        "that matte paint job"...
        Truth is they are not painted at all, it's the color of the plastic,
        just like the cap of a soda bottle or any plastic toy.
        I th!nk it is also an environmental issue,
        since painting a car is the most energy consuming part of the manufactoring process
        But maybe a good paint job on top of that could improve looks?
      • 4 Years Ago
      How are they going to do against pure EV's from Honda, Ford, Nissan, Mitsu and Toyota?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've asked this in other Think news bits, and no one will answer me.

      What does Think offer in the landscape of the upcoming EV's from the big car companies like Honda, Toyota, Ford, etc? I don't see them making a dent in the US.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Also, they are still in the final planning stages of greenlighting the Ox, a four-passenger hatchback, about the same size of the Volt, with three and four-door models to be available. Its platform can still be adapted to accomodate other body styles as well. Plus, a more modern redesign is scheduled for 2012/2013, complete with a new convertible and European-style city van version suggested for production.

        I know this because I have a printed copy of the Think Media Presentation form 2008.

        Hope this helps.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They offer a smaller car, it's about 25cm shorter than the iMiEV and a lot smaller than the midsize Leaf, Focus etc. It's also known to work fine in cold climates and I guess fleet customers and some individuals (me included) like the idea of impact resistant, rust-proof plastic bodywork.

        Of course they need to get the price down, but that's true for all current electric cars.