TORRANCE, CA - THINK, a Scandinavian electric vehicle (EV) maker, plans to launch its THINK City vehicle in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2011, according to Michael Lock, chief marketing officer. THINK designs, develops, manufactures, and markets full battery electric vehicles (BEV) and electric vehicle technologies, and has been doing so since the early 1990s. 

The THINK City, a modern urban vehicle, will be released in the U.S. as a two-seater model, providing "healthy" cargo space, said Lock.

While 75 percent of its four-seater model sales in Europe have been derived from fleet over the past year, Lock said the company plans to initially target the U.S. retail market when it arrives in the U.S. next year with an MSRP ranging from approximately $32,000-$33,000 (without incentives).

THINK City is highway-certified and can travel at a top speed of 70 mph and a 100-mile range, Lock said. The vehicle weighs 2,200 lbs. Standard structural features of the THINK City include the steel load bearing under-structure, plastic body panels, McPherson front suspension, torsion rear suspension, front wheel drive with electric powertrain, and single speed reduction gearbox.

Current THINK City models operating in Norway, Holland, Austria, France, and Spain are assembled in Finland. The manufacturer is targeting capital cities and metropolitan hubs that are "most complex and polluted," said Lock, noting that meeting the specific needs of people driving in crowded cities is what helps separate THINK from the major OEMs.

THINK is in the process of determining its distribution channel and does not currently have a dealer network. The company plans to market the vehicle in less conventional methods, avoiding traditional auto show events. "We're working on developing a separate channel of distribution where you don't feel like you're going to a car dealer," said Lock.

Automotive Fleet recently had the opportunity to test drive the THINK City at Bobit Business Media headquarters in Torrance, Calif. Despite the size of the vehicle, editors described it as driving like a larger car, firmly planted, handling corners well, and with "the requisite amount of electric-motor pep."


Originally posted on Automotive Fleet