Norwegian electric vehicle manufacturer Think put the latest version of its two-passenger city model on display at this week's British Motor Show. Heading to UK showrooms next summer, Think says the fifth-generation of its petite electric runabout can travel 126 miles on a single charge at speeds of up to 65 mph and take a 20 percent to 80 percent charge in four hours. According to Think, the city is made from 95 percent recyclable materials, starting with its ding- and scratch-resistant, color-impregnated ABS body panels. More important, it's also been designed and tested to meet U.S. as well as European safety requirements, a key element in the company's plan to also reestablish a presence in America starting next year.
Once owned by Ford Motor, Think's first foray into the U.S. electric vehicle market was less than a commercial success. But the competitive playing field has changed considerably since early 2003, when the Blue Oval boys severed all ties with the firm, citing a lack of consumer interest. In March, Think announced a new partnership with General Electric, and one month later at the 2008 Fortune Brainstorm Green Conference, it followed up by announcing the formation of Think North America in concert with Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and Rockport Capital, two major Silicon Valley green tech investment firms. TNA will begin demonstration projects with the city sometime in 2009, and anticipates commencing retail consumer sales at some point shortly thereafter. Even more intriguing for U.S. customers, Think is preparing a larger, five-door variation called the Ox for production sometime in the 2011-2012 timeframe.