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Official: Think To Build Electric Cars In U.S.

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Think City electric vehicle

Think City electric vehicle

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Think Global is a Norwegian based manufacturer of electric vehicles and is the same company behind the original ‘Th!nk’ electric car that went on sale in the U.S. during the late 1990s. Back then, Think was owned by Ford, which sold it in 2003 to Swiss company Kamkorp Microelectronics. In 2006 Think went bankrupt and was subsequently rescued by a group of Norwegian investors determined to build the firm into a proper automaker with a number of all-electric models.

Today, Think is in a much better financial position--so much so that the company has announced that it will start production of its compact City all-electric car in the U.S. from early next year.

The company has selected Elkhart County in Indiana to build a new plant for its electric vehicles, and plans to spend upwards of $43.5 million in building improvements and equipment.

Think’s first model, the compact City, is a two-door affair that's slightly bigger than the Smart ForTwo. Running on lithium-ion batteries, Think claims the car is capable of travelling 100 miles before it needs to be charged. However, its maximum speed is estimated at only 65mph.

The Think City will be on display at next week’s 2010 Detroit Auto Show.

[Think]

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Comment (1)
  1. (Please re-post this as a community service)
    Less than 20 car companies (The ATVM people say there were tons of applications but only a handful were car companies) applied for $25 BILLION DOLLARS in taxpayer money managed by a certain smug group of people at DOE in order to get loans to make green cars for Americans. This was not all of DOE that did bad things, just a private cadre of men.
    There was enough money to help every single one of the car companies that applied. The administrators applied their interpretations of the law in order to benefit the large lobby group-related firms and avoided every one of the “politically unconnected “independent American companies.
    The amount of lobby and influence money spent by each awardee is in direct ratio to the amount of money awarded. Pay-to-play was the process.
    The smaller companies, due to lower overhead, could have dramatically more productive results with the money than the large burdened companies yet the money was given out based on political career advantages for the administrators rather than the technology advantages for Americans.
    The way the ATVM people set it up (Google “Siry says stifles innovation” for more), the smaller applicants were prevented from getting outside investor funding.
    All of the people that reviewed the applications had political and financial connections to GM, Ford, Chrysler and the large Detroit recipients.
    Each of those smaller American companies had technology and resources that presented a powerful economic threat, if they got the loans, to the large politically connected companies that did receive funds. The big car companies wanted the small companies cut-out at all costs.
    The Section 136 law was written to provide first-come-first serve funding but when the small companies got their applications in first, while the big ones arrogantly felt that they did not even need to apply because it was already pre-staged for them, the ATVM officials changed the rules in order to remove the first-come-first-serve standard of the law in order to cut out the smaller independents.
    Some of the companies that have gotten money have backed out of making the electric cars they said they would make. But they still get to keep the money.
    The Section 136 Law was created by the lobbyists for GM, Ford & Chrysler when they saw that they were about to go bankrupt and wanted to tap into additional taxpayer dollars by claiming the money was going to be used for electric cars in order to win rapid support for Section 136 by tugging at heartstrings. In retrospect, the money mostly went to gasoline car projects. Multiple public hearings have already shown the sister loan guarantee program to have been a failed program via intentional delays, the head was fired and replaced & massive complaints have been filed by many.
    Some of the companies that got the money have already wasted more money than other companies applied for as their total request.
    Some of the companies that got taxpayer loan money are not even American companies and/or are doing their manufacturing offshore with non-American employees. Thus, the ATVM process has cost American’s jobs.
    Those who got the money had to fill out little, or no, paperwork, went through little, or no, review and were connected to the DOE people who gave them the money and shepherded them through the process. Those who they wanted to keep out were forced to jump through more hoops, were slow-tracked in review and had made no political deals via hired law and lobby firms that the big companies has used to conduit “influence”.
    The decision about who would get money was made in 2008 by a private group who then pretended there was a lengthy review throughout 2009 but in fact, the money was pre-wired for a select few.
    All of the things that the rejected small companies (who did not pay lobby fees) were rejected for, were the same things that the insider big companies were doing. In at least two cases, big companies who were in violation of Section 136 rules were guided by reviewer-insiders to change their whole business structure in order to become suddenly “compliant “with section 136 while smaller companies received no such “help”.
    How does this affect you? It cost you and your friends jobs, it delayed American innovation, it made your family have to breath toxic petroleum fumes for another decade, it furthered a corrupt practice and it hurt domestic small business. This was all about money. Controlling who got to make money off of the technology.
     
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