These days, you can't turn around without finding electric-car news and updates. The 2010 Tesla Roadster, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, and 2012 Nissan Leaf all sop up their share or more of ink and electrons. Now, add the Think City to that list.
Think, the Norwegian electric-car company whose City is one of the few highway-capable electric vehicles, has emerged from bankruptcy with new investors. And it is resuming its plans to put the two-seat hatchback on sale in the US by 2011.
The City is far from the low-speed "neighborhood electric vehicles," little more than golf carts with doors, lights, and wipers, that are presented as "electric vehicles" by so many new manufacturers. It been granted full regulatory approval throughout Europe, and passes all highway safety tests.
The Think City provides a range of 100 miles or more, at a top speed of 60 miles per hour. In the company's latest iteration, it will transfer production from Norway to a Valmet assembly plant in Finland.
There, it will be built next to the 2010 Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid luxury sedan, as well as the 2010 Porsche Boxster and Cayman. Production should restart by the end of the year. US sales are planned for 2011, with pilot and fleet tests of the car to start next year.
Think is also considering building the City in the US, based partly on a $25 billion US Department of Energy grant program to retool existing plants for production of energy-efficient vehicles. A staff of 12 in Dearborn, Michigan, is now assessing potential factory sites.
The company was recapitalized with $47 million of investment from investors Ener1, Inc. from the USA; Valmet Automotive, from Finland; and Investinor, an investment fund backed by the Norwegian Government.
Ener1's subsidiary, EnerDel, will supply lithium-ion cells for the Think's battery pack. And Valmet operates the plant in Finland to which Think City production will be transferred, from its current location in Norway.
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