Think City

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Th!nk City
Think City 2007.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Think Global
Production 2008 – Mar 2011 (Europe)
Nov 2010 – Aug 2012 (US)
Assembly Uusikaupunki, Finland,
Elkhart, Indiana, United States
Powertrain
Electric motor 34 kW (46 hp) 3-phase induction motor[1]
Battery 24 kWh zebra battery (NaAlCl4),
23 kWh lithium-ion battery[1]
Range 160 km (99.4 mi)[1]
Dimensions
Wheelbase 1,970 mm (77.6 in)
Length 3,143 mm (123.7 in)
Width 1,658 mm (65.3 in)
Height 1,596 mm (62.8 in)
Curb weight 1,038 kg (2,288 lb)

The Th!nk City is an electric city car that was produced by Norwegian carmaker Think Global, and production partner Valmet Automotive. It is a small two-seater/2+2-seater highway capable vehicle produced from 2008 to 2012, with a top speed of 110 kilometres per hour (68 mph), and an all-electric range of 160 kilometres (99 mi) on a full charge.[2][3]

The Th!nk City was sold in Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, the United Kingdom and the United States,[3][4] and by March 2011, had sold 1,045 units worldwide.[5] As of early 2011, it was one of only five crash-tested, mass-produced, and highway-certified electric cars in the world, together with the Tesla Roadster, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Nissan Leaf and the Smart ED.

Due to financial difficulties, production of the Th!nk City in Finland was stopped in March 2011, and the company filed for bankruptcy on June 22, 2011, for the fourth time in 20 years.[6] Think Global was purchased soon after by Electric Mobility Solutions AS, which announced production to resume in early 2012 with a refined Think City.[7] However, production never resumed, and the Indiana plant completed its final car in August 2012.[8]

History[edit]

The Th!nk City was exhibited for the first time in the UK in July 2008.[2] At the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, Think announced that the Th!nk City will be launched in Denmark and Sweden in 2008, followed by launching in the UK, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands in 2009.[9]

At the 2008 British International Motor Show at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre, London, THINK announced that the Th!nk City will be available to UK customers from the summer of 2009.[10] Prime Minister Gordon Brown joined Transport Minister Geoff Hoon for a presentation by Managing Director of Think UK.[11]

Specifications[edit]

The car has an inbuilt charger and will re-charge from a standard 230 volt, 10 or 16 amp supply in 9.5–10 hours.[12]

MOTOR: 3-phase electric induction motor. Max power 45.6 hp (34 kW) Max torque 66 lb-ft

GEAR BOX: Fixed reduction gear, permanently connected to drive wheels. Ratio 1: 10,15

BRAKES: Front disc brakes. Rear drum brakes. Antilock brakes (ABS) Power brakes with electric pump w/regenerative braking

Steering Type: Electrohydraulic power steering with fluid reservoir in motor compartment. Steering rack with power steering, Turning diameter: 29.5 ft

100% electric with 0 emissions

14 "low rolling resistance tires

Top speed 70 mph

120v portable charging system

Driver and passenger airbags

Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS)

Range 100 miles

24kWh traction battery

front bucket seats

remote trunk release

power mirrors

power windows

rear defogger

Air Conditioning

Anti-theft security system

Curb weight: 2,348 lb (1065 kg) Load capacity incl. passenger 445 lb (202 kg) Total weight 2,881 lb (1307 kg)

Production[edit]

A Th!nk City in Denmark.

Think Global originally planned to start deliveries to Norwegian customers in the last quarter of 2007. That target was missed, but as of August 2008 some 100 electric cars had been manufactured for customers in Norway.[13] On December 15, 2008, the carmaker suspended all vehicle production and laid off 50% of its staff pending negotiation of up to US$29 million in funding for working capital, citing "urgent financial distress."[14] Production of the Th!nk City restarted on December 10, 2009, at Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland.[15][16] In October 2010 production had reached 2,500 units, making the Th!nk City one of the world's best selling pure electric cars.[17]

On November 24, 2010, Think North America began manufacturing in the Magnum Drive plant located in Elkhart, Indiana. Initially the Finland plant manufactures the body and wheels on the chassis, then ships them to the United States. The lithium-ion battery, made by EnerDel in Indianapolis, the motor and gearbox, seats, headlights and other components are assembled in the Elkhart plant. Each car takes about a week to complete.[18]

Due to financial difficulties, production of the Th!nk City in Finland was stopped in March 2011, and the company filed for bankruptcy in Norway on June 22, 2011, for the fourth time in 20 years. Although Think North America is a separate entity, its future also is in doubt because it is financially supported by the headquarters in Norway.[6][19] Production in the Elkhart plant was halted a few days before the bankruptcy filing due to delays in the delivery of parts required to assemble the electric cars.[20][21]

Think Global's assets were bought by Electric Mobility Solutions AS in July 2011, including shares of wholly owned subsidiaries THINK North America and THINK UK. The new owners announced that production is scheduled to restart in early 2012 with a refined Think City.[7]

Sales and price[edit]

Th!nk City exhibited at the 2010 Washington Auto Show.
Th!nk City electric cars at a test drive event in Washington, D.C.

Europe[edit]

As of September 2010 the Th!nk City was on sale in Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Austria, Switzerland and Finland.[3][4]

Norway[edit]

The list price for the car in Norway was NOK 244,000 before optional features, which is approximately US$38,000, or GB£25,400, or €30,700. During 2011 a total of 133 units were sold in Norway.[22]

Finland[edit]

The list price for the car in Finland was €49,600.[23]

France[edit]

During 2010 a total of 11 units were registered in France.[24] A total of 110 units were sold in 2011.[25]

United States[edit]

The Th!nk City retail price was US$36,495 before any applicable federal and local incentives.[5] However, due to the higher cost of low production, Think USA announced that the price of the first 100 units was US$41,695 before any incentives. The first 100 Th!nks were delivered in late 2010 mostly to fleet customers in Indiana. Sales to the general public were expected to begin by mid-2011.[5][26][27] Think North America issued three recalls on the first cars produced at the Elkhart plant for defects to its gear shift levers, seat belts and defrosting systems.[20]

The company expected to sell 2,000 to 3,000 cars in 2011 via three to five branded stores in five markets: Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Indianapolis, and planned to market the electric car as an urban city car.[26]

Following the bankruptcy of Think Global, the remaining 150 Th!nk cars in stock in the U.S. were put on nationwide sale at a discounted price of US$22,500 before any federal and local incentives.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Official technical specifications". Think. 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  2. ^ a b "New TH!NK city EV Makes UK Show Debut". Worldcarfans. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  3. ^ a b c "THINK Begins EV Sales in Finland". Green Car Congress. 2010-09-11. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  4. ^ a b Eric Loveday (2010-09-13). "Think kicks off sales of City electric vehicle in Finland". AutoblogGreen. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  5. ^ a b c Scott Doggett (2011-03-30). "Think Announces $36,495 MSRP for City EV". Edmunds.com. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  6. ^ a b Douglas A. Bolduc (2011-06-22). "Norwegian EV maker Think files for bankruptcy". Automotive News. Retrieved 2011-06-23. 
  7. ^ a b Sebastian Blanco (2011-07-25). "Official: Think Global purchased by Electric Mobility Solutions AS". AutoblogGreen. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  8. ^ Ingram, Anthony (2012-08-20). "Last Few Think City Electric Cars Being Finished in Indiana". The Green Car Report. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  9. ^ "Think Geneva motor show press release". Think.no. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  10. ^ "Think British International Motor Show press release". Newspress.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  11. ^ "Prime Minister Gordon Brown Samples TH!NK city EV at Downing Street". Worldcarfans. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  12. ^ "Charging / The THINK City / THINK Electric Car - the all electric and highway safe THINK City". Thinkev.com. Retrieved 2010-06-23. 
  13. ^ Todd Woody (2008). "Ford exec jumps to Think Global". thegreenwombat.com. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  14. ^ "Electric Carmaker Suddenly in Trouble". New York Times. 2008-12-07. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  15. ^ "THINK City production starts at Valmet Automotive". valmet-automotive.com/automotive. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  16. ^ Jim Montavalli (2009-12-11). "Think Restarts Production in Finland". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  17. ^ "Think builds 2,500th Think City in Europe; U.S. operations are ahead of schedule". Autoblog Green. 2010-10-11. Retrieved 2010-10-12. 
  18. ^ "Elkhart goes to work building the world's best-selling electric car (video)". eTruth.com. 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  19. ^ Sebastian Blanco (2011-06-23). "Inside the Think bankruptcy: was the plastic electric too late, too expensive?". AutoblogGreen. Retrieved 2011-06-23. 
  20. ^ a b Associated Press (2011-06-23). "Future of Elkhart's electric car plant dimming". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  21. ^ Eric Loveday (2011-06-24). "Will the Think bankruptcy affect operations in Elkhart, IN?". AutoblogGreen. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  22. ^ Ole Henrik Hannisdahl (2012-01-09). "Eventyrlig elbilsalg i 2011" [Adventurous electric vehicle sales in 2011] (in Norwegian). Grønn bil. Retrieved 2012-01-14.  See table "Elbilsalg i 2011 fordelt på måned og merke" (Electric vehicle sales in 2011, by onth and brand) to see monthly sales for 2011.
  23. ^ "Think City -sähköautojen myynti alkoi (in Finnish)". Helsingin Sanomat. 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2011-02-06. 
  24. ^ Autoactu.com. "Chiffres de vente & immatriculations de voitures électriques en France" [Sales figures & electric car registrations in France] (in French). Automobile Proper. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  25. ^ Laurent Meillaud (2012-01-14). "2630 voitures électriques immatriculées en 2011" [2630 electric cars registered in 2011] (in French). MSN France. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  26. ^ a b Brad Berman (2010-11-15). "Think Reveals City Marketing Strategy for Its Small Electric Car". PluginCars.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  27. ^ Brad Berman (2011-03-25). "Think Quietly Sets Price of City Electric Car at $41,695 (Update)". PluginCars.com. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  28. ^ John Voelcker (2012-03-30). "Discontinued 2011 Think City Electric Cars For Sale: $22,500". Green Car Reports. Retrieved 2012-04-02. 

External links[edit]