Think to manufacture electric vehicles in Indiana

An electric vehicle manufacturer has picked a new site for a proposed factory in northern Indiana’s Elkhart County. Think North America’s chief financial officer says the company approached Elkhart city officials about a site there after negotiations broke down last week with the owner of a Middlebury property.

The Elkhart City Council gave initial approval Monday night to a 10-year tax abatement plan for the company. The subsidiary of Norwegian-based Think Global projects its new factory could have 415 full-time jobs by 2013.

Think Global currently makes its compact, two-door electric cars at a plant in Finland. The Elkhart site would be its first U.S. factory.

The Think City is an all electric car that can go about 60 miles per hour and has a driving range of about 100 miles. It runs from lithium ion batteries supplied by EnerDel, which is based in Indiana.

Think began delivering the City to European customers in December, a year after it halted operations because it had run out of money. The company, which has its roots at Ford, had to restructure and raise more money.

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.

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.