Well, back in the day (1999), when GM was still creating the EV-1, Ford wanted to come up with something electrical of its own and it did - it was called for Ford Th!nk and it was designed and made in Norway. Scandinavians, of course, are known as resourceful people. With their long winters and short growing seasons, they have had plenty of time to think about, hmmm, herring, engineering, the sea and umm, Scandinavian women. I call these the Norwegian thought equivalent of the USDA's Four Food groups.

Anyway, the Ford Th!nk, like the EV-1, did not take off. Actually, I have driven both vehicles and found them to be . . . . functional. Fast forward to 2006 and a new business model is afoot between Norway and Silicon Valley. The new, redesigned Think City is, of course, electric. Computers are electric. For that matter electric utilities and their grids are electric and so is the web. What if the Think City was built like a Dell computer - presold, assembled, and delivered? What if you bought the car without the battery but leased the battery instead? What if your Think City was really like a laptop computer that you could drive around in - in contact with you, with the web, with the grid? It is a new business model and several major people are involved and investors: Dean Kamen of Segway fame; the guys who started Google - Sergey and Larry, and Jan-Olaf Willums, CEO of Think.

There is more, much more to be learned about this vehicle and the business concepts it is built around. As expected, the fuel-burning heat engine is taking a back seat to first low-power electronics (fuel injection, ABS, etc.) and now high-power electronics (electric drive). Well, I would say it had a good run and "it ain't over till the fat lady sings." For instance, Dean Kamen wants to put a little multi-fuel Stirling engine in the Think to serve as a range extender. As a matter of fact their is a picture of him holding the engine and generator in his hands in front of the EV Think. Hey, wait a minute, didn't I write about such a removable unit just last week?

[Source: Business 2.0]


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