Th!nk Global, yes, think with an exclamation mark, gas-free, city cars are poised to invade the U.S. from its Norwegian where some 1,200 Think concept vehicles are driving on European, mostly Norwegian, roads today. Th!nk is buoyed by undisclosed funding injection by Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and RockPort Capital Partners, will be introducing the Ox, Open and City models starting in 2009 -and it can't be too soon!
With an an overnight power charge it’s ready to go in the morning
-up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) in city driving on a fully charged
battery, with a top speed of 100km/h. The lithium-ion batteries have
capacity to charge to 80% capacity in
less than an hour, and slender solar panels integrated into the roof
power the dashboard electronics.
Think City is one of two models that are out already, together with the Think Ox, with a choice of either lithium or a sodium battery, it's range is enough to take a suburban dweller to the downtown office and back, with zero carbon footprint. The car is thoughfully fully computerized and allows a key-less entry. It features real time navigation, web, e-mail and open source interfaces, intelligent and sustainable driving and route calculations. The DNA-key gives the user feedback on charging status and sends messages, for example, for pre-heat or pre-cool options via GPRS.
An electric-powered people's car for the 21st century, the Ox is a
prelude to Think's next-generation production vehicle, due out in 2011.
Roughly the size of a Toyota (TM) Prius, the Ox can travel between 125
and 155 miles before needing a recharge, and zips from zero to 60 miles
per hour in about 8.5 seconds. Its lithium-ion batteries can be charged
to 80% capacity in less than an hour, and slender solar panels
integrated into the roof power the onboard electronics. Inside, the
hatchback includes a bevy of high-tech gizmos such as GPS navigation, a
mobile Internet connection, and a key fob that lets drivers customize
the car's all-digital dashboard. Pricing has yet to be announced, but
the company's current vehicles cost less than $25,000.
Think_ox_electric_car Think North America is backed by an undisclosed amount from Silicon Valley venture capital firms RockPort Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which famously invested early in companies such as Amazon.com (AMZN) and Google (GOOG). General Electric (GE) made an unrelated $4 million investment in March to support the company's battery research and development operations.
In theory, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are the ideal form of
transportation. They produce no noxious exhaust fumes, and minimal
pollution, especially when charged from renewable energy. They are
capable of acceleration exceeding conventional vehicles, but are much
more quiet. Widespread use of BEVs would also reduce dependence on
petroleum, enhance national security, and help mitigate the effects of
So what’s the problem? Historically, the issue with BEVs was the high battery costs, limited travel distance, charging time, and battery lifespan. However, new technology advancements have addressed most of these issues and some believe the time is right for the emergence of the mass produced electric car.
Vicki Northrup, operations manager of Think North America says you can entirely recycle these revolutionary cars, from the dashboard to the fabric, unpainted body panels (to eliminate hazardous toxins), supports, air ducts, adhesives and fixings. If you reckon the battery is a little rusty, no problem. Simply return it to the supplier for a replacement.
Is The USA ready for Th!nk induced revolution -we think so! It's long overdue after wasting the past eight years in a fossil-fuel induced policy gridlock.
Posted by Casey Kazan.
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