Monday, April 28, 2008

Cheap Efficient Electric Cars For 2009

Their website says: TH!NK city cars, possess effective utilization of energy. A traditional car with a combustion engine that uses less than 30% of the energy from the fuel it burns. Up to 90% of the battery's energy is used too in the TH!NK city. This means that the energy efficiency is three times as high in the TH!NK city. You can drive three times as far with the same amount of energy!

As for availibility in the US:

“The TH!NK city is the world’s only crash-tested and highway-certified EV and is ideal for markets such as California where we will initiate demonstration projects offering an exceptionally safe and fun car to drive” says Jan-Olaf Willums, CEO of Think Global. –“We are therefore proud to partner with the two pioneering investors in the clean tech field and to launch TH!NK city in North America with them.”

The new venture was announced at the 2008 FORTUNE Brainstorm Green Conference held in Pasadena, California, that brought chief executives from all over North America together to talk about the business opportunities of “going green”.

Ray Lane, a Kleiner Perkins Managing Partner and Chairman of TH!NK North America, says, “The transportation industry is undergoing its largest transformation since Henry Ford built the model T. Today we are witnessing a seminal event - the first highway-capable electric vehicle intended for mass production, representing a big step towards a zero emission transportation industry.”

“We believe there is a dramatic shift underway of how people think about mobility. Global consumer demand is forcing industry to come up with sustainable solutions, including the development of zero emission vehicles” says Wilber James, a Managing General Partner of RockPort Capital Partners, and acting President of TH!NK North America.

TH!NK city is an environmental vehicle, emission free and 95 percent recyclable. It reaches a top speed of 100 km (65 miles) per hour and can drive up to 180 km (110 miles) on a single charge.
TH!NK city meets all European and US federal motor vehicle safety requirements.

At the Geneva Motorshow earlier this year, Think announced a strategic partnership with energy giant General Electric, also an investor in Think. At the Show, Think unveiled its future car, the TH!NK Ox, the first 4/5-seater fully electric vehicle which is slated to begin production in 2010/11.

Think has also established partnerships in the US with battery suppliers A123 and EnerDel.

The TH!NK city is currently produced in Norway and international sales are slated to begin in Scandinavia, with Switzerland and France also being the initial focus areas. Sales other than initial trial and demonstration projects will begin in The North American market in 2009.

Vicki Northrup, an electric car veteran, has been retained by TH!NK North America as Operations Manager and will initially be based out of TH!NK North America’s Menlo Park Office.
I think electric cars have been under-rated. There is great potential here especially if electricity can be generated with wind, solar, and hydro power; all great renewable sources of energy.

We are witnessing the transformation of the auto and transportation industry. Perhaps slow in coming, but the entrepreneurs are out there and the new ideas are coming.

(H/T Jeff A.)