Smart Car of America has tried to be on the cutting edge of all intelligent types of transportation. In 2005, we were in discussions with the Th!nk group, and sang the praises of the Th!nk car. At the time, we believed this car could be part of the solution to what we believed was ahead of us all - $4.00-a-gallon gas. Th!nk Global says their cars are coming to America and we hope this will be the case. For years, all of us have confronted the inconvenient truth about our crude oil reserves. Fortunately, our electric transportation requirements never faded away, as the oil moguls had wished.
The EV engine is well designed for our ecosystem, and now we're one step closer to having a bona fide and concrete all-electrical vehicle readily available to purchase and to serve our daily driving needs.
The Th!nk first surfaced in 2000, when Ford announced it would build an electric vehicle called Th!nk. The Th!nk Neighbor was an EV produced by Th!nk Mobility, then a division of Ford Motor Company and manufactured by the Norwegian company, PIVCO.
The car was used primarily for short trips, much like a golf cart is used, and only a handful were sold. The Th!nk Neighbor was available in two models, a two-seater and a four-seater, and it had an open cockpit, a top speed of 25 mph, and a cover that protected passengers from the weather, much like the Gem.
In 2003, Ford sold the project to Kamkorp Microelectronics, a Swiss company that manufactures the Frazer-Nash electric vehicle. There the project languished for several years.
In March 2006, a Norwegian investment group, InSpire, purchased Th!nk Mobility/Nordic. The company is keenly aware of the world’s environmental, social, and government issues, and has formed a partnership agreement for North America with clean-tech investors, RockPort Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins, Caulfield, and Byers, to bring the Th!nk our way.
The company has been renamed Th!nk Global, and its Th!nk electric vehicle has come full circle and will be on America’s shores in 2009.
Th!nk Global proves that bigger (Ford) is not always better. Th!nk Global has created two all-new vehicles, the Th!nk City and the TH!NK Ox. The first of these rolled off the assembly line in November 2007, and we're told they went on sale in Norway, after the Geneva Motor Show.
Electrical cars have zilch local emissions, and offer advanced energy efficiency.
The Th!nk City is a 100-percent electric car that’s rechargeable from a normal home socket and, according to company reports, the Th!nk City is made of recycled materials and is 95% recyclable. A full charge takes about three hours.
The issues with driving ranges have been solved, thanks to the Zebra high-energy batteries and their state-of-the-art lithium-based battery options.
Both the City and the Ox are capable of traveling more than 110 miles on a single charge.
The new Th!nk could be in direct competition with Mercedes/Smart, GmbH, which is currently running field tests in England for 100 Smart electric cars. There’s no word from Smart, GmbH, about the US getting an EV version of the Smart Fortwo.
The Th!nk City is 122 inches long, which makes it longer than a Smart Fortwo, but smaller than the Yaris. Top speed is roughly 65 mph and could be increased, which will reduce range.
CEO of Th!nk, Jan-Olaf Willums, indicates that the Th!nk City will sell in the US for between $15,000 and $17,000, with a mobility fee of $100-$200 to lease the batteries that may also include wireless and insurance.
We’re not certain what's up with leasing the batteries and the mobility fee, but it gives us all something to think about!
Specifications and standard equipment includes:
- Power steering
- Electric windows and mirrors
- 2 front airbags
- Disable key for passenger airbag
- ABS brakes
- Regenerative brakes
- Central locking
- 4kW electric heater
- 2 loudspeakers and aerial
- Black jungle
- Blue sky
- Red energy
- City citrus
Optional equipment includes:
- Air conditioning
- Full length sunroof
- Pre-heat timer
- Electrically heated windscreen
- Radio CD and with MP3
- Radio CD with MP3, USB, Bluetooth
- Navigation & Multimedia System
- Winter tires
- Alloy wheels - set of 4
- Steel wheels - set of 4
- Roof rack
- 2 + 2 children seats (including 3-point seat belts)