Elkhart County Council has approved a 10 year tax abatement for Think

The tax break for Think Global was approved during a special meeting last night. The company is considering a vacant building in Elkhart County that used to be a facility for Patriot Homes. WSBT-TV in South Bend reports the move by the county council paves the way for the company to receive state incentives.

Even though Think is moving ahead with lining up tax breaks and other incentives in Indiana, it still has not made a final decision on where to locate the plant for electric cars.

Michigan and Oregon are also being considered. The facility is expected to create hundreds of jobs, but company officials are backing away from any specific number.

A Think official has told the Hoosier state has been an attractive option for several reasons, including the company’s relationship with Indianapolis-based lithium-ion battery producer EnerDel Inc.

THINK City production starts at new state-of-the-art facility in Finland

THINK has re-started production of the THINK City model, one of the world’s first urban EVs, at a state-of-the-art new facility with manufacturing partner Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland.

Valmet Automotive is a leading provider of engineering and manufacturing services to the automotive industry and recently became a THINK shareholder and strategic industrial partner. Today marks the start of production at Valmet Automotive’s high-tech manufacturing base, which also produces Garia and Fisker alternative-fuel vehicles as well as Porsche AG’s Boxster and Cayman.

The start of production at Valmet Automotive also marks a new start for THINK, which has made significant progress since announcing its re-capitalisation earlier this year with major new investors coming on board. In recent months THINK has made a series of senior executive appointments from the automotive and clean-tech industries, won major new contracts in the drivetrain supply business, started the roll-out of sales into key European markets and now, re-started production in Europe.

Richard Canny, THINK CEO, says: “This is a very significant day for THINK. We are back in production and I am so pleased that some of our very loyal customers can look forward to delivery of their long-awaited THINK City before Christmas. The order bank stands at around 2,300 vehicles, and our first priority is to deliver to these customers now that our vehicles are rolling off the production line again. Our next priority is to build on this order bank with continued expansion in Europe and around the world.”

He added: “Our strategic alliance with Valmet Automotive is much more than just about assembly – we are already reaping the benefits of Valmet’s expertise in manufacturing and engineering – with time being taken out of the production process, more manufacturing done on site and an overall more efficient industrial solution, from product development support right through to final assembly.”

Ilpo Korhonen, President of Valmet Automotive, said: “Valmet already has expertise in the EV industry, but with the start of industrial production of the THINK City at our cutting-edge facilities in Finland, we aim to become a leader in the industry. The start of production is a very important step for both THINK and Valmet, and we aim to grow our strategic alliance alongside the growth of the THINK brand around Europe as more deliveries of the eagerly awaited THINK City are made in the coming weeks.”

The THINK City is the world’s first EV to be granted certification with the European CE conformity mark and EU homologation requirements (M1 certificate). Sales of the THINK City have started in selected key EV markets such as Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, with first fleet deliveries due to start before Christmas. The majority of THINK sales in these countries have been made to municipal authorities and utility partners, supported by government incentives.

THINK is a pioneer in electric vehicles and a leader in electric vehicle technology, developed and proven over 18 years. It is one of the few companies that has a ‘ready-to-market’ fully electric vehicle – the THINK City. With its market-leading range, driveability and recyclability, the THINK City is the first vehicle of its type to be granted pan-European regulatory safety approval and CE certification.

THINK is also a leader in electric drive-system technology, and was the first to offer a modular and flexible drive-train solution in the business-to-business sector. With its Scandinavian origins and sustainability mindset, THINK is one of the most carbon efficient car companies in the world.

Valmet Automotive is a provider of automotive engineering and manufacturing services of premium cars. In 40 years, the company has produced over 100,000 high-quality vehicles in Finland. The cars have been delivered worldwide. Today Valmet Automotive manufactures the Boxster and Cayman models for Porsche AG. Manufacturing of the electric Garia golf car started in 2009 and production of the Fisker Karma hybrid vehicle is scheduled to start in 2010. The company is a part of Metso Group.