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THINK Begins EV Sales in Finland

11 September 2010

Scandinavian electric vehicle (EV) maker THINK has begun sales of the THINK City EV in Finland with production partner Valmet Automotive.

First deliveries of the THINK City in Finland will be to green delivery pioneers A2B, through a new THINK dealership in Helsinki. Further full-service dealerships will be opened in the coming months in other Finnish cities such as Turku, Tampere, Lahti, Jyväskylä and Oulu.

Since we entered into collaboration with THINK in 2009 there has been very high level of interest from customers, both business and private, wanting to buy the THINK City. This hasn’t been possible in Finland until now, and we are extremely excited by the prospect of being exclusive distributor here, especially with the experience and expertise of our new sales and marketing director Hans Svensson leading the sales operation.

—Valmet Automotive President, Ilpo Korhonen

European production of the THINK City continues in Finland with manufacturing partner Valmet Automotive. Customer deliveries are taking place across Europe in selected key EV markets such as The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, France, Austria, Switzerland and now Finland.

THINK has also announced plans to establish a US production facility during 2011 in Elkhart County, Indiana, and is working with Japanese partner Itochu on developing operations in Asia.

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Comments

So much for the problem of operating EVs in cold climates.

A bit of initial heat can get them going and heat from the batteries, motor and controller can keep them going and get more power from the batteries.

The ZEBRA batteries available for the THINK can operate in the coldest climates because of their necessary insulation, and for the reason that the internal cells are always at very high temperatures, they can be cooled, if necessary, directly by the very hottest air of any earth climate, and no refrigeration is needed. The reported slow warm up to operational temperatures of the ZEBRA battery can obviously be shortened by higher powered internal or external heaters of far less power than the electric automobile quick chargers proposed. The heat available in the battery and generated during the operation of the battery can be used to keep passengers warm. Free piston electric compressors from LG can cool the cabin with high efficiency or even heat it as a heat pump.

It also can be remembered that the ZEBRA battery can store electrical energy for many centuries if cooled off while still charged, and only heating to operational temperatures is required to obtain this electrical energy. Once mentioned, it is patently obvious that such heating and the required temperatures can be provided by running the cooling air through a bed of burning charcoal under the crudest of conditions and with propane or other liquid fuels when available.

The fuel fired heaters available in some European automobiles should be replaced with miniature NOAX free-piston engines that generate heat and electricity.

A rotating permanent magnet engine-alternator that has valves designed to run at very high speeds so that it can be very compact but still have an output of 1 kW or greater should be fitted to every THINK sold. You would be surprised at the average speed that one kW could drive a THINK. A Prius can do five miles an hour or more. Tiny OPOC engines are also possible as are rotating cylinder valve engines, RCV.

Full electric automobiles should not be permitted on the motorways. The comments and thoughts about their limited range as well as their very much too high costs have prevented the adoption of efficient plug in vehicles.

Very high power can be had from tiny flywheels. Sufficiently high electric energy density can be had from lead acid batteries. Very high energy density and very long range can be had from very high speed engine generators on the rare occasions when it is needed in ordinary driving. Capstone electro-turbines have even been fitted to two experimental automobiles and many busses.

Capstone has enough experience now to produce a much smaller turbine that operates at four times the speed and produces 10 kW. The air bearings are well tested now and are even suited for heavier rotors and can be combined with magneto electrodynamic contact free bearings if necessary to compensate for external dynamic forces. The rotating mass of the turbine generator can be used for acceleration and regeneration. Super capacitors are not needed.

The use of the turbine eliminates the need for expensive catalysts in converters. The hybrid configuration inceases the efficiency sufficiently when combined with plug-in-operation. The electronics needed to convert the turbine to be used as a flywheel as well are no more complicated or expensive than that required for supercapacitors.

In France, Norway, Sweden and Finland where nuclear or hydroelectric power is available, Zink-air batteries with renewable electrodes can be used and refilled as necessary if the main battery gets low, and the Zink is recycled with hydroelectric or nuclerar power.

Small Zink electrolyte recovery units can be put at the base of every windmill or, if the windmills are grid connected, at more convenient places in the electric grid to be turned on when there is excess power available from nuclear or wind power generators. Even inefficient zink recovery units are more cost efficient than hydrogen production units, but sodium sulphur batteries from NGK and others as well as ZEBRA type batteries may make electric energy even cheaper to store than hydrogen or zink.

Stationary lead acid batteries with well made grids, absorbed glass mat electrolyte storage and electronic sulphation prevention may be now the cheapest way to provide electrical energy storage and power production, but sodium-sulphur units will possibly be cheaper in the near future, and it cannot be assumed that they will not also be suitable and economic for electric automobiles. ..HG..

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