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Think Begins Production of New TH!NK City EV

Think Global began production of the reborn TH!NK City EV this week outside Oslo, with the first car rolling off the line on 28 November. Trials under Norwegian winter conditions will be conducted before the commercial launch in the first-half of 2008.

In 2008, the factory will reach a full production capacity, equivalent to 3,500 cars per shift. The factory has capacity for double shifts.

With the production start in November, this project is on time and the prototype phase is over. We are building full production cars with all the right components from the right suppliers that have now been through several months of quality testing.

—Jan-Olaf Willums, CEO Think Global

Earlier this autumn, Think signed a contract with Porsche Consulting, whose engineers have been working with Think staff to bring Porsche’s experience within “lean manufacturing” into the plant’s layout and parts handling/logistics. The Porsche factory is the most profitable factory in Europe.

In October, Think Global announced that it had selected EnerDel as the supplier of choice for prismatic large format Li-ion batteries that will be used to power its Th!nk City electric vehicle. (Earlier post.)

Comments

HenryP

Now we're getting somewhere!

Polly

The Th!nk web site is very short of details, despite the millions raised in funding by the company.
http://en.think.no/ytelse/rekkevidde#
The technical details listed include:
Length: 3120 mm (similar to the original mini)
Payload 165 kg (much less than a small ice car but enough for 2 adults and a trolley of groceries)
Max speed: 100 km/hr
0to80 km/hr 50mph 16 secs
0to60 mph: not disclosed
Range - Summer: 180km 112.5 miles
Range -Winter: only 90km (with 3.5kw heater)
Charge time (230v @ 14 amps) -
0to80%: 8 hrs
0to100%: 10 hrs

No mention of the price of the car, the useful life of the battery or the replacement battery cost.

Mriswith

The Th!nk will sell for 200.000 crowns (25.000 euros) and you'll be renting the battery for 1218 crowns per month.

I think the price is adjusted to the Norwegian car market where you'll be able to buy small cars like the Toyota Aygo for around 130.000 crowns. With all the incentives and cheaper fuel, this would make the th!nk about equal in ownership costs.

Sulleny

That's $37,000.00 US dollars plus battery rental. Not for the average consumer (except perhaps Norway with world's highest standard of living.)

But of course with the apocalypse coming - what's the difference??

Elliot

I seem to remember that they weren't shipping this to the US or that we'd get somethig else. With specs like Polly posted, that's probably wise.

@Sulleny: It ain't over til its over. With proper leadership, catastrophe may yet be averted, or at least lessened. This is a step in that direction.


AES

No mention of the price of the car, the useful life of the battery or the replacement battery cost.

If it's using their LTO anode cells, EnerDel claims those cells can go well beyond 1000 100%DOD cycles.

So, assuming an average range of 135km (~83mi), that's a very conservative estimate of at least 83,000 miles.

Calendar life - who knows?

Henrik

Think city’s biggest problem is whether they can get the batteries they need to reach the 3500 cars per year volume by the end of 2008. Currently they can only make a handful of cars per month with the Zebra battery and they will not get more of these Zebra batteries. Everything depends on Enerdel actually being able to deliver their battery packs in volume during the second half of 2008. That is going to be a very tough job to execute. I have my doubts they will make it but maybe they will be ready for volume production starting early 2009. If Think manages to produce 3500 cars during 2008 I will be very surprised.

Mike L

@Henrik,

Either way, the result remains the same: a production worthy EV that is mass produced. Whether that comes in 08 or 09, this will be a significant event for the car industry. I'm sure the results from both a sales demand and performance results will be monitored closely by all auto manufacturers looking to release an HEV/EV/PHEV Li-Ion vehicle.

I think this is a very exciting step - I just hope EnerDel can deliver a production-worthy pack!

Wes

US readers shouldn't consider these prices apples-to-apples. In cases where a given vehicle is available in the same form on both sides of the Atlantic, we always pay far less than Europeans do. I assume it's taxation policy or something (?).

The Toyota Aygo that Mriswith is one step below the Yaris in the Toyota line- so small it's not even sold in the U.S. So based on price proportions, which do seem to carry over from market to market, I'd expect to see these in the U.S. market, if they are ever sold here, at perhaps $14,000.

I for one wish we could ramp up production of electric cars, even if in the near term we have to stick with old-school battery technology. One member of my household has a four mile commute- two miles each way to the train station, five days a week, and virtually no other driving. Any old lead-acid setup would do that easily. The current holdback for us to purchase what's out there is how basically all electrics available in the US now are "neighborhood electric vehicle" spec- max 25 mph. There's no way for such a vehicle to legally do this commute, as all paths along the way are state roads with 45 mph speed limits. As it is it's a shame to start up an ICE to do such a piddly job, both environmentally and economically. It's murder on the car, too!

sjc

I would like to believe that if someone could come up with an EV with a 100 mile range and selling for $20k, that they would sell. If the owner wants to drive out of town for the weekend, they can rent a car at reduced weekend rates.

sjc

Wes,

You could get an old economy car with a burned out engine and transmission and convert to EV for about %5k.

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