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THINK Selects Indiana for Think City EV Assembly

5 January 2010

THINK will begin selling the THINK City, one of the world’s first highway-capable urban EVs, in the US later this year. The company plans to invest $43.5 million in building improvements and equipment in Elkhart County, and the plant could begin assembling vehicles in early 2011.

Thinkcity
The THINK City will appear in Detroit next week at the North American International Auto Show 2010. Click to enlarge.

THINK’s investments in Elkhart County will support manufacturing capacity for more than 20,000 vehicles a year. The company started delivering the latest generation of its THINK City model to customers in Europe last month.

The THINK City is a purpose-built, all-electric car designed for urban environments. It can travel at highway speeds for more than 100 miles on a single charge. It is the first EV to be granted certification with the European CE conformity mark and EU homologation requirements (M1 certificate). (Earlier post.)

European production of the THINK City is already underway in Finland with manufacturing partner Valmet Automotive, which also assembles the Porsche Boxster and Cayman models for Porsche AG. Production will continue at Valmet Automotive to support European market demand, where sales have begun in selected key EV markets such as Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

THINK is joining Indianapolis-based lithium-ion battery maker, EnerDel in choosing Indiana for a North American manufacturing location. Ener1, the parent company of Enerdel, is a 31% equity stakeholder in THINK. In addition to incentives provided by the State of Indiana and Elkhart County, THINK plans to utilize funding from the US Department of Energy ATVM loan program to establish its new production facility.

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Highway capable?
Please look at the video of the new NHTSA Pole Side Crash Test on my website

www.safersmallcars.com

If motorcycles are allowed on the highways why not small cars. To get and maintain a license for a motorcycle, people should be required to have burial and hospital and medical insurance. The same could apply to smaller enclosed vehicles. The fuel standards and costs have forced people in the US into smaller cars as it is, and those who could afford the cost bought HUMMERS and SUVs.

The TH!NK produced in the US should be modified to be a plug-in-hybrid on principle alone but also because of the longer distances. A range extender can reduce the cost and weight of the battery.

In many situations the ZEBRA battery will be more suited for the US TH!NK instead of lithium and massive cost reductions are available because the material costs are not high. The ZEBRA battery can be devoted to UPS and grid energy support when its power levels become too low for automobile operation. The battery remains operational even with many failed cells and these failed cells can be replaced for UPS or grid operation with repackaging.

General Electric is proposing to start production of ZEBRA type batteries for hybrid locomotives and trucks that have already been successfully tested with ZEBRA batteries which were judged to be the only batteries that could cost effectivly deal with hot temperatures and wide temperature ranges.

ZEBRA batteries are now also in use in a deep submersible rescue submarine as its main power source. And they are sold for use in other submarines and naval vehicles.

The ZEBRA's uncle and predessor the sodium-sulphur battery(invented by FORD) is already being sold and tested in the US and other places by its Japanese manufacturer. ..HG..

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