Electric vehicles THINK enters France in partership with MOBIVIA

Scandinavian electric vehicle (EV) maker, THINK, today announces its entry into the French market through a partnership with MOBIVIA Groupe (which incorporates the Norauto, Midas, Carter Cash, Maxauto and Synchro Diffusion brands in France), and its newly established sustainable mobility division, O2City.

THINK’s partnership with O2City represents the biggest distribution and service offering in THINK’s history, with access to potentially more than 800 sales and service facilities throughout France. The partnership puts THINK at the heart of several large electric vehicles fleet contract tenders in France, such as with a consortium led by French postal service La Poste. This consortium has been put together with the objective of 100,000 electric vehicles throughout France by the middle of the decade.

“We could not wish for a stronger and better equipped partner for the sale of the THINK City in France,” said Richard Canny, THINK CEO.

“O2City is very well placed to capitalise on ambitious French electric car market development aspirations, with access to some 800 Mobivia centres nationwide, offering easily accessible and available servicing to early adopters of electric vehicle technology. We are delighted to be entering the French market with such a strong partner and with a product that’s actually in production and on sale right now,” concluded Canny.

“The French sustainable mobility market is about to open up in a big way,” said Fabien Derville, Managing Director in charge of the Eco-Mobility division, MOBIVIA Groupe.

He added: “With Government incentives, huge electrification aspirations from authorities and utilities, and new sustainable companies such as the Autolib car-share management program and O2City supporting this new market – Mobivia’s mission to make sustainable mobility simpler and readily available across France is really coming together. The THINK City, with its robust electric car witt lithium ion batteries design based on two decades and millions of kilometres of experience, is a perfect urban commuter solution for the congested streets of French cities, and forms a key part of our sustainable mission here at Mobivia.”

O2City will offer much more than just the sale of electric vehicles in France. The visionary company is also set up to offer finance packages, insurance, charging stations at its outlets, home charging solutions, electric vehicle maintenance and after-sales service through its far reaching network of eco-mobility centres.

The latest generation THINK City is a purpose-built, all-electric and fully air-conditioned urban 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 electric car 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 THINK City continues in Finland with manufacturing partner Valmet Automotive, which also assembles 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, Austria and Switzerland.

THINK 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.

THINK is a pioneer in electric cars and a leader in electric vehicle technology, 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.

Mobivia Groupe is made up of internationally-based networks bound by a coordinated executive management, taking the initiative to promote sustainable mobility for everyone throughout the world. With the benefit of 40 years of experience in France and around the world devoted to car servicing and parts, Mobivia Groupe is well placed to play a major part in promoting new forms of mobility.

Mobivia Groupe is currently made up of 10,000 employees, 6 brands (Norauto, Maxauto, Auto 6, Carter Cash, Midas and Synchro Diffusion) representing a network of 1,118 centres in 11 countries with a turnover of 1.37 billions Euros (ex VAT) (Figures as of 30/09/2009).