Friday, June 11, 2010

Think Test Drive

There's a whole new class of small, highway capable electric cars preparing to enter the American auto market. These "City Cars", exemplified by the Mitsubishi iMiEV and Mercedes' Smart car, are designed for commuters who are in need of good, inexpensive vehicles that do the job of transporting to and from work while using a minimal amount of energy.

Norway's Think (sometimes written as "Th!nk") is making a strong push for the American market with their recent announcement that they are building a manufacturing plant in Elkhart, IN near Enerdel, the battery manufacturer they have chosen to supply the 24 kWh packs that will power the cars.

Eight Plug in America members were recently asked to come to the Orange County offices of Think to test drive the latest version of this highly efficient EV. Linda Nicholes, past president of Plug In America, has written a great blog on the test drive, so I won't go into too much detail, but I will say that the Think impressed me with its overall performance and handling. It's very similar to the iMiEV in most all respects, and if both are priced appropriately, i.e., a few thousand lower than the Nissan Leaf, they'll sell very well.

Think isn't ready to announce price yet, but they should by the end of the year. As we get into the era of expensive oil, city cars will gain an ever larger share of the market. Easy to drive, easy to park, and they use minimal energy to get the job done. Total cost of operation will be very low relative to even the smallest of gas burners.

27 comments:

  1. I'm unsure what to think about Th!nk after their bankruptcy or near brush with in the past year or so. I also wonder how well they'll do in the ever changing field of EVs with Nissan entering the game. City cars as a class though, need to be priced less expensively then the Leaf to attract any attention at all from the EV market. I wish them the best of luck though in their endeavor to build an EV in the US.

    ReplyDelete
  2. FINALLY, a community EV that doesn't look like it belongs to the "Jetsons"

    with a regular paint job, this car probably blends right in.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Not everyone has the same taste in cars. If there is value and people can express themselves through them they will sell for sure. I drive a Harley and it is NOT because it is the most reliable bike on the road. Or even the best value. It is American Made, creating local jobs and tax dollars-and "it's me". I for one don't like BIG corporations. While grateful that Nissan will help make EV's popular I'll wait for a local company to come out with one I like. One that DOES stand out!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love to see all these EVs coming to market. It can only mean better prices and cooler cars in the coming years which will then lead to mass adoption. We all need this revolution to happen, and it will. There is a perfect storm brewing of ever declining solar and wind power prices with better EVs. This will certainly cause turmoil in the oil and coal businesses over the next few decades. They will go the way of newspapers - marginalized on the sidelines.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Paul,

    Can you tell us about what the Think EV will sell for in the US? I believe I have read that the price will be higher than that for the Nissan LEAF.

    ReplyDelete
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