UK motorists will soon be able to place orders to buy the first fully electric powered car later this year, when the new TH!NK city electric vehicle (EV) goes on sale in this country.
Revealed at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show this month by Norwegian electric vehicle pioneers Think, a company with 17 years experience in EVs, the new TH!NK city will be available for customer orders during the last quarter of this year.
TH!NK city is a true, modern urban car, not a quadricycle. It is a fully environmental vehicle, emission free and 95 percent recyclable. With an energy efficiency three times that of a traditional combustion engine car, it is a car that realistically meets the growing challenges of environmental protection and congestion and emissions legislation.
The two seater urban car has a top speed of 65 miles per hour. It accelerates from zero to 30 mph in just 6.5 seconds and 50 mph in 16 seconds. It requires just an overnight top-up of electricity and can travel for 124 miles in city driving on a fully charged battery. A full charge from a domestic electricity socket takes just ten hours. Over 10,000 miles use, the total cost of electricity used to power a TH!NK city will be in the region of £125.
TH!NK city is designed to meet the strict safety requirements of both Europe and the US, as a highway-safe road car. The car is equipped with ABS brakes, airbags and three-point safety belts with pre-tensioners and it meets all European and US requirements with good margins.
“Unlike the lower-range, electric quadricycles that have had limited success in the UK, TH!NK city is a real car which provides a realistic option for those motorists who want to drive a true zero emissions car,” said Richard Blundell, Managing Director of Think UK.
“Also, concern for the environment has been at the heart of the development of TH!NK city. It’s not only environmentally sound to drive, but the car itself is designed to be recycled,” he added.
Engineers, developers, buyers and designers in the company have focused on utilising clean recyclable materials, non-polluting production processes. The dashboard can be completely recycled. The fabric, body, supports, air ducts, adhesives and fixings are designed using the same recyclable materials.
TH!NK city’s body is made of recyclable ABS plastic, designed specifically for city driving. Not only is it ideal for motorists want to avoid visible scratches and irritating dents, the unpainted plastic bodywork also reduces both energy consumption and toxins, while also making the panels easier to recycle. The batteries are returned to the supplier at the end of their useable life.
Standard equipment on each TH!NK city includes power steering, central locking, a 4kW electric heater, and electric windows and mirrors. Optional equipment will include air conditioning, a pre-heat timer, electrically heated windscreen, full length sunroof, Radio CD with MP3, USB, Bluetooth, a navigation & multimedia system, alloy wheels, roof rack and 2 + 2 children seats (including 3-point seat belts).
Production started last autumn, and the first batch of cars will be delivered to Norwegian customers this spring with orders for UK cars being taken in the last quarter of this year. The expected retail price of TH!NK city is £14,000.
Think has been developing and producing urban mobility solutions since the early 1990s. Major investments made during the Ford ownership period contributed to an important infrastructural upgrade. New investors are now grooming Think as “The Car Company of the 21st Century.”
The first prototype predecessor to today’s modern TH!NK city was developed in 1991. Drawing on 17 years of experience in electric vehicle development and production, Think is not a typical car industry start-up. TH!NK city was put in serial production in 1999, supported by American car giant Ford.
Ford became a major shareholder and invested USD 150 million in Think during its four years as an owner. When Ford decided to leave the electric vehicle sector in 2003, Think was sold out of the car manufacturing group. Though struggling to survive, Think has always retained the basic infrastructure and acquired considerable competence from its American owners.
During recent years, a wave of environmentalist conscience and climate change awareness has ripened the market for alternative mobility solutions. In 2006, Norwegian investors bought Think, and an experienced management team entered the scene. Both new and former staff members were added to the team, and a new strategy was outlined for the company. Further share issues during 2007 have prepared Think to go into regular serial production of the 5th generation TH!NK city. The car company of the 21st century is on the road.
“We are the car company of the 21st century. We develop zero emission vehicles and sustainable solutions and we are proud to be launching TH!NK city in new markets in 2008 and 2009, something that shows that the demand for sustainable solutions and zero emission vehicles is greater than ever before,” says Jan-Olaf Willums, CEO of Think Global.