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Th!nk City

Think City Review

electric car company has big plans

falling into a financial Think was on its sixth generation of the City, a $28,000 two-seater car a maximum speed of 65 miles per a driving range of 120 miles.

City Review Outlook

you get into the specs of the Think you need to understand the somewhat past of the company behind the At the end of 2008, the Norwegian small carmaker known as Think was its demise. The 20-year-old company, owned by Ford, had experienced two bankruptcies and was in the middle of its third. It was only about 10 cars a day it laid off more than its 250 employees and indefinitely extended its 2008 production shutdown.

By March, the Wall Street published Think’s obituary as a tale about automotive that require huge of capital to succeed.

A few months US-based Ener1—the parent of battery-maker EnerDel— gave another lease on life by granting a bridge loan and agreeing to invest about $18 and convert $3 million in debt preferred shares of the automaker. now holds 31 percent stake in the

EnerDel and Think also to enter into a new long-term supply agreement as part of the EnerDel received certain rights for the supply of batteries for current and upcoming new electric models. Other investors Finland’s Valmet Automotive—which Boxter and Cayman models for and will manufacture the Fisker luxury plug-in hybrid.

Think Again

With three pieces in hand—a a battery pack, and a manufacturing has moved production of the plastic-bodied City, capable of about 120 of range, to Valmet’s facility in The company is working to fill than 2,000 orders of the and is aiming for annual production of units—mostly for fleet customers. But appears to be only the beginning of the big for the small electric car company.

of the Think City resumed in in late 2009.

Throughout of 2009, Ener1 worked on a to find a US production facility, likely in Indiana where is headquartered. Think is promising to nearly $25 million in a new plant, and to build as many as 60,000 a year in the US, which could to sell as early as 2012.

A few cars may be put into fleets or for sales in late 2010, but US are not expected before 2012. locations and the deal structure be non-traditional, involving car sharing and leasing. Details, including are not available—but a car as small as the Think in size to a Smart ED or a Mitsubishi have to drop its price $20,000 to be competitive.

Th!nk City

There’s a ton of more importantly funding—for drive vehicles and lithium ion in the US. In August, two weeks prior to the deal with Think, received a $118.5 million grant to double the company’s to produce lithium ion batteries in the Think is applying for a US government for production of fuel-efficient vehicles, the same program that Tesla Motors and Fisker

The Big Picture, Really Big

Many see slow but steady growth in the US car market—but competition from General Motors, and Ford make it difficult for Think to For example, the Think City sell in the same price as the Nissan Leaf. However, is apparently looking at a much picture than selling a few electric cars.

It’s aiming to be a major in the entire new energy ecosystem of utilities, smart grids, cars, and batteries—for both and vehicle-based batteries.

In early 2009, the battery maker that it will manufacture the ion batteries for five one-megawatt systems to be used by Portland Electric in Oregon. It will be the time that electric stationary grid storage, power and rapid charging are combined in a real-world operating EnerDel said. The system perform the critical duty of peak demand and smooth the in power from renewable such as wind and solar.

It also create a market for electric car batteries after have lost some of capacity.

EnerDel is working on similar in Japan and Austria. The Japanese scheduled to come online in 2010, will convert a of Mazda vehicles to use a 24 kilowatt-hour pack initially design for the City.

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