New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell cars in US later in 2010

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reikiman
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New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell cars in US later in 2010

THINK survey shows prospective EV owners likely to accomodate short range if the car is cheaper -- They funded a study conducted by some MBA students which found a fairly obvious thing. That customers are willing to pay more for a bigger battery pack, or they're willing to get a shorter range car for cheaper.

That kinda goes against the conventional wisdom that people demand a 300 mile range and instant recharge. That supposed requirement is one of the things which has kept electric cars out of our hands. The THINK study showed customers willing to adopt a reasonably good range electric car, and willing to trade cost and range capability.

THINK receives $40 mil in further funding, and gains new Chairman -- This is big news for Think. The company now has the full funding required to follow through on their business plan and go to larger scale production. They're expecting to sell up to 500 cars in the U.S. in 2010 and to begin production at a plant in Elkhart Indiana in 2011.

Think has gone through so many flameouts and rebirths they should be the ones bearing the name "Phoenix Motorcars". But that's a different company. I first heard of Think in late 1990's and fell in love with the concept of this small car, no bigger than ones true needs, and completely recyclable.

Some of those cars were imported to the U.S. as part of a test program, and I got to ride in one once. Think did spend a period being owned by Ford - and there were two cars under the Think brand during that time. One was a golf-cart-GEMCAR-style vehicle, and the other was the PIVCO/Think City of that era. It's the PIVCO car that I loved, the GEMCAR-style just leaves me cold. Unfortunately these cars were under a lease and were among the cars subject to the lease-recall-and-crush strategy that befell the other electric cars of the previous era.

Dauntless
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Re: New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell ...

A survey ain't the same as people plunking cash. I responded to several online surveys that I'd be grabbing a nice new Camaro immediately after they were available. But just let Chevy introduce a level of difficulty in obtaining it, and after more than a year on the market I'm not even trying. People might be saying it's a "Good idea" to have a cheap, shortrange electric, but that doesn't mean they'll shell out for it.

What survey's don't take into account are things like my unwillingness to drag the kicking and screaming manufacturer to the sale of a vehicle. If they don't want to provide the car, fagetaboutit. It also doesn't consider that 50% of the respondents might accept TALKING ABOUT this shorter range car but still wouldn't be wanting to give up their gas engine car for that, which might leave them without money to buy one, without a place to park it if they did, (The joys of apartment living, eh?) or having second thoughts about insuring the two, keeping up the batteries, etc. There's a lot you accept in life when it's not really your problem, afterall.

So the conventional wisdom still holds true. The holy grail will be to have the range and rechargability to replace the gas engine car altogether. Someone like me who regularly has more than one car might be a candidate for a cheap, shortrange electric, but we are rare. And demanding about other details of such a car. Back to the drawing board.

WHo dares, WINS!!!!

zunzhine
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Re: New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell ...

I am waiting for mine right now, expecting delivery in two weeks :)

I don't know about the survey, but the average range of 100 miles
is more than enough for my needs (city car).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyOZvzwL0-w

strawhistle
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Re: New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell ...

If we are stating our opinion here ! My wife drives to work every day total miles per day 12- 16 miles ( she goes shopping after work)8 of those miles is in traffic that goes 70mph (stay in the right lane) If I take her car I go 16 miles at 55mph to play music at the jam in durand and the same back home I have a two car garage and 220V50A for my welder allready and I am waitingfor the chance to get a cheaper short range highway cappable electric car LaTeR

thank GOD I wake up above ground !!!!

oobflyer
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Re: New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell ...

Congratulations! Where I live in California, we are starting to see some Chevy Volts and some Nissan Leafs on the road, but I really like the design of the Ford Focus. How much does the Think City cost?

zunzhine
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Re: New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell ...

Thanks! It costs a lot. But, government incentives plus no need to buy gas (=8$ a gallon here)
makes it pay for itself in no time. I live in Norway.

It has a predicted lifespan of 15 years, and it will save us aprox. $77000 in gas, road toll,
tax etc. in its lifespan. Probably a lot more, since gas prices will skyrocket in a few years.

The Think City is independent of battery tech, and you can replace the battery in, say ten years.

In the US, they have just started manufactoring the Think City in Elkhart County. I don't know
where that is, but it is in the US, and it means jobs, and I like the the fact that the
Think City electric car is designed to be produced near to its customers. :)

My car looks exactly like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4a3-lgds_A&feature=related

Black, sunroof, heated front windshield, alu rims etc. I'm a bit childish now, but I cant wait
to pick it up and start saving the word. :)

My current vehicle, a pickup-truck needs $200 of gas each week to keep it going... :)

PJD
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Re: New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell ...

Here in the US, what government incentives there were have expired. I don't think the manufacturers thought that the EV tax credit would not be renewed; but with the makeup of our current congress, there is little chance of any new incentives.

The US continues to resolutely march in the wrong direction.

marcopolo
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Re: New news from TH!NJ - fully funded and expect to sell ...

A survey ain't the same as people plunking cash. People might be saying it's a "Good idea" to have a cheap, short-range electric, but that doesn't mean they'll shell out for it.

The holy grail will be to have the range and reachability to replace the gas engine car altogether. Someone like me who regularly has more than one car might be a candidate for a cheap, short-range electric, but we are rare.

Very true! This is one of the frustrations most EV advocates encounter. Estimates and adoption predictions, are usually based on surveys designed to reach a certain conclusion, or opinions gathered by talking only to the few existing fellow converts.

I own, and have operated not one, but two EV cars, for the last 3 years. Both vehicles are the equivalent of the iMev or Leaf. But I am exceedingly rare. The truth remains that even a country where the 'Green Party' gathered over 14% of the vote in the last federal election, and has the second largest, per capita, car ownership in the world, less than 50 electric cars are registered.

To it's shame Australia, has no EV tax breaks!(only LPG vehicles qualify).

I also must confess, that I drive a Lexus hybrid most of the time. The Ford Focus looks great! The Leaf is a delightful little car, but to me, the practicality of the GM Volt, is a winning concept. The idea of a range extending engine is the real winner. (I would have preferred a small diesel/electric in the Volt, so that I can use bio and still retain Zero emission status, even when using the range extender.

marcopolo

zunzhine
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Re: New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell ...

The avereage American drives less than 40mi each day, and its the same here in Norway.

If I need to go further, I can hop on a bus, a train, a plane, or use the p.up-truck..

So 'limited' range isn't a problem for most of us.

marcopolo
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Re: New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell ...

The avereage American drives less than 40mi each day, and its the same here in Norway.If I need to go further, I can hop on a bus, a train, a plane, or use the p.up-truck..So 'limited' range isn't a problem for most of us.

Great, that's very good news for you! Enjoy driving your Think! Where you miss the point Dauntless is making, is when you use the term, most of us!

Most of who? Most of people in your situation, who think like you!!

The majority are left out.

This has been the bane of hopeful EV manufacturers, starry eyed 'green leaning' pollsters and conductors of surveys.

Taking such an approach, (tinged with a bit of moral sanctimony) leads to very inaccurate sampling of public opinion.

This is displayed by the dismal acceptance of 'environ' vehicles to date. Just having, what seems to you, a good idea that suits your lifestyle and moral philosophy, isn't a guarantee for market success!

The city of Melbourne,relatively flat, pop.4 million, big wide avenues, with the largest cycle lane system in the world decide to spend a great deal of money on a bicycle hire scheme. Two problems emerged; A) very few people wanted to Hire a bike helmet, and so the city sold riders a helmet for $5 dollars, losing $14 dollars per helmet.(to the great distress of bike helmet retailers). People bought the helmets, but not the ride.
B) Very few people wanted to ride around the city, only weekend back-packers, due to the sheer size of the city.

So far the scheme has cost the tax-payer $28 million in losses and even those who do ride would normally have travelled by the extensive tramway system.

We provide/hire electric vehicles in island and resort locations. Ev's are perfectly sited to this purpose. EV's have the advance of no exhaust, easy to operate, restricted range, security, easy storage, no stored inflammables, and the excitement of a novelty.

But what someone is happy to potter around in/on when on vacation is very different that purchasing for everyday use.

marcopolo

zunzhine
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Re: New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell ...

Enjoy driving your Think!

Thanks, marcopolo ! I will.

As for the rest of it, I was merely referring to statistics (not surveys).
The average driver(AKA most of us.) drives an average of 64 kms each day.

I know I do, and the Think will be our primary mode of transportation.

The biggest problem I had with these cars was lead-acid batteries that needed to be be replaced each two years...

Li-ion has changed all that, and rising gas prices will fix the rest.

marcopolo
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Re: New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell ...

. The average driver (AKA most of us.) drives an average of 64 kms each day.I know I do, and the Think will be our primary mode of transportation.

Actually, I like the cheerful little Think! I am glad to see that the new model is a four seater. (more 2x2

Australia has it own EV maker, the Blade Electron. Larger than the Think! , based on the Hyundai Getz, its an excellent little vehicle. However i am one of a very small nuber of purchasers.

Where we differ is your assumption that because you drive the same distance as the average driver, you have elected yourself spokesperson for your fellow motorist, and automatically believe that they will share your passion!

As I say I like the little Think!, but I must confess that given a choice I would rather have the larger, better warranted, Nissan Leaf at the same price!

In fact the runaway success will be the GM Volt, and Ford Focus, which provide the best of both worlds and provide practical transport in one package.

marcopolo

zunzhine
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Re: New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell ...

you have elected yourself spokesperson for your fellow motorist, and automatically believe that they will share your passion!

No.. I never posted anything about that :)

The Nissan leaf will be available in Norway later in 2011, and will be more expensive than the Think City. Its a bigger car and I need a small city car,
so the Leaf is not an otion to me this time. They compete in different market segments.

Also the Leaf has a curb weight of 1590 kg, the Think City 1110 kg. The batteries however are the same capacity, so I guess the Think City
will have a consistently better range than the Leaf, especially in freezing weather conditions.

marcopolo
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Re: New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell ...

[No.. I never posted anything about that :)

Ok, could just be a language thing, creating misunderstnding.

I guess the Think Citywill have a consistently better range than the Leaf, especially in freezing weather conditions.

It will be interesting to compare the relative performance of the two cars in conditions like Norway.

marcopolo

zunzhine
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Re: New news from TH!NK - fully funded and expect to sell ...

It will be interesting to compare the relative performance of the two cars in conditions like Norway.

Hi marcopolo! I agree. The think City has been fleet-tested in mid-Norway last winter by an
electricity company, and they reported that employees unplugged the charger and drove off to
work in a freezing -41C at worst, no problems.

Another guy posted a video of a 140kms trip in the middle of winter, with 30% energy reserve
at the destination.

Deciding on what electric car to buy has been a nightmare, but I ended up with the Think City
because it is a small car with a big battery. :)

It is reliable and it works in winter. As you say, it will be interesting to see how the jap cars
work over here.

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