Electric car Think to be assembled till 2011 in US: report

Think, an electric car maker based in Norway, will assemble its vehicles in the United States next year and hopes to roll out more than 20,000 units a year, the Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday, quoting the group’s chief executive.

“Nothing has been finalised yet but a decision is expected today,” a Think spokesman, James Andrew, told AFP.

Think, which will receive local and state incentives, is expected to invest 43.5 million dollars (30.1 million euros) to modernise an assembly plant in Indiana, the Wall Street Journal said in an article to be published on Tuesday.

Several US states had been in competition for the investment.

The newspaper reported that the project was to be officially announced in Indiana on Tuesday.

The plant would have an assembly capacity of more than 20,000 cars a year, but production would be “in the low thousands” in 2011, chief executive Richard Canny said.

The Think City, a small plastic vehicle that seats two adults and two children, is expected to sell for around 30,000 dollars, after a tax rebate of some 7,500 dollars, the Wall Street Journal said.

After teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, Think was saved in August by a group of investors, including Ener1 of the US, the owner of Enerdel which supplies batteries for the Think cars.

Enerdel is the largest shareholder in the carmaker, holding 31 percent.

In northern Europe, production of Think cars was transferred last year from Oslo to a plant in the Finnish town of Uusikaupunki, where the Finnish group Valmet Automotive already assembles models for German sportscar maker Porsche.

The Think City has a maximum speed of 100 kilometres (68 miles) an hour and a range of 180 kilometres (110 miles).–AFP

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