THINK and Migros team up with swiss eco tourism group

Scandinavian electric vehicle (EV) maker, THINK, and its Swiss distribution partner, M-Way, have teamed-up with eco-tourism pioneer Alpmobil to offer visitors to its resorts totally carbon-neutral transportation for use on their vacation.

A fleet of 60 THINK City Electric Vehicles with lithium ion batteries has been made available in the Goms and Haslital region of the Swiss Alps, and will be available for hire through some 30 hotels, resorts and other touristic hot spots in the area. Alpmobil will be marketing the service through its website and its resorts in the region, and the Electric Vehicles will be available for hire at a special rate of some €45.00 per day for Alpmobil customers.

“This trial program fits perfectly with Alpmobil’s philosophy, and we are proud to have made a start and to show both the public and other resorts in sensitive regions that driving ecologically and without noise pollution is possible, affordable and fun,” said Dionys Hallenbarter from Alpmobil.

Daniel Hofer, Migrol CEO and project head at M-Way, added: “Sustainability in business is at the heart of Migros’ ethos, and M-Way is our means of delivering the transportation element of this plan. Through projects like this with Alpmobil we are leading the way in delivering clever but simple solutions and bringing them into the mainstream. This initiative is a perfect example of this, and as the electric cars are powered by locally sourced renewable electricity, the offer boasts 100% carbon-free transportation to explore the beautiful and unspoilt valleys, mountains and pass roads in the region of Goms and Haslital.”

EV charging is made accessible around the region thanks to more than 20 battery charging points that have been installed in the area – powered by renewable hydroelectric generated electricity derived from local mountain waters, reservoirs and dams.

THINK CEO, Richard Canny, said: “When we announced our partnership with M-Way we talked of the innovative and alternate route-to-market offered by such a forward-thinking and pioneering group – this is perfect evidence in action of that philosophy and we are very proud to be a part of this new approach to eco-tourism. We look forward to speaking to similar-minded companies and resorts in other countries wishing to be a part of this sustainable revolution.”

The latest generation THINK City is a purpose-built, all-electric car that can travel at highway speeds and cover 160 kilometers on a single charge (via conventional household outlet), with zero local emissions. It is the world’s first EV to be granted certification with the European CE conformity mark and EU homologation requirements (M1 certificate). To achieve these exacting standards, the THINK City has successfully completed very thorough testing and validation procedures.

European production of the latest generation THINK City, benefitting from the developments listed above, continues in Finland at Valmet Automotive – also the assembler of the Boxster and Cayman models for Porsche AG. Customer deliveries are taking place across Europe in selected key EV markets such as The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland.

THINK has also recently announced plans to establish a U.S. production facility during 2011 in Elkhart County, Indiana, and is working with Japanese partner Itochu on developing operations in Asia.

Alpmobil offers solutions for sustainable mobility for tourism and local leisure traffic in the Gotthard Pass area of central Switzerland. The implementation is based on a holistic approach using selected nodes (or “MovePoints”) that form a contiguous network throughout the region.

MovePoints work together and offer various means of sustainable transportation including electric cars, e-bikes, hiking, steam train, or horse-drawn carriage. The project builds on the pioneering days of the passes and makes an environmentally friendly experience into an adventure.

The "E-mobility" project with Migros and THINK in the summer of 2010 is the pilot phase of the program. In the next few years, more programs are planned to create a whole network of sustainable transportation options around the Gotthard.

Migros is Switzerland’s biggest retailer. With its more than 84,000 employees coming from over 140 countries, Migros is also the biggest private employer in the country, realizing a turnover of 25 billion Swiss francs (approx. 17.5 billion euros) in 2009.

The majority of goods sold by Migros are produced by Migros industries in Switzerland. Migros is a federation of ten regional cooperatives with over 2 million members; various companies as well as a series of foundations also form part of the Migros Group.

Besides the traditional areas of Grocery Retailing and Specialized Goods Retailing, the Retailing Department (with the Swiss discounter Denner, the Globus department stores, the oil company Migrol, etc.), the Travel section (with Hotelplan, Interhome, etc.), and the area of Financial Services (Migros Bank) also represent important areas of business for the Group.

Migros was founded in 1925, by Gottlieb Duttweiler. Commercial activity is characterized by sustainable value generation. Ever since its inception, high ethical standards and lasting corporate social responsibility have played and continue to play a significant role for the Group. Every year, a fixed percentage (> 100 million CHF/year, approx. 70 million EUR/year) of the turnover of the Migros cooperatives is donated to cultural and social activities. Hence, Migros is the most important private promoter of cultural events in Switzerland. About 50% of the donated amount, termed “Culture Percentage”, is contributed to the Migros Club Schools, the biggest training and tertiary learning institution of the country.

THINK is a pioneer in electric vehicles and a leader in electric vehicle technology, a position developed and proven over 19 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 EV 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.