Earlier this year, Think announced it would build electric cars in Elkhart, IN. On its own, this is just one announcement from one company about one town. But, electric vehicle (EV) supporters know that making EVs in the U.S. is a big deal, and that the Think announcement fits into a larger picture alongside the plans from a lot of other automakers. Examples include Tesla and Coda in California, Fisker in Delaware, as well as the plug-in vehicles from Ford and GM. Even looking into the near future, though, doesn't give us the whole picture.
For a generation of Americans, Elkhart was known as the place where RVs were built and the city was nicknamed the "RV Capital of the World." Now, as MSNBC reports, the city is trying to switch RV into EV, all part of the big push across Indiana to make electric vehicles a big part of the new economy (see also, Bright Automotive). With a big pool of trained autoworkers looking for work, access to traditional auto suppliers and a rich automotive history, Indiana is a good place for electric car companies, the CEO of LC3, which makes neighborhood electric vehicles in the state, told MSNBC. Of course, all of those aspects exist in Michigan, too, even if Indianapolis can claim to be the home of the GM's EV1 back in the day. If all goes to plan, Think will make around 20,000 vehicles in Elkhart a year by 2013.