28.6.2011 EV maker THINK goes bankrupt (again)
Norwegian electric vehicle manufacturer THINK filed for bankruptcy last week. The company has plans to liquidate their assets in an attempt to pay off its creditors.
Ford Motor Co. owned THINK from 1999, when the electric City model was launched, until 2003 – the company has struggled to survive alone ever since.
THINK are well known for their all-electric City model – a plastic shelled quadricycle that sold more than 2,500 units in the US and Europe since 1999. The vehicle has a range of around 100 miles using Lithium-ion batteries, and although it never made it to the UK, it would have had a price tag of around £23,000.
The company said in a statement, "THINK filed for bankruptcy after failing to attract adequate capital to continue funding operations."
A spokesman told Automotive News Europe, "We needed some additional funding, and although we had interested investors, they were not able to come to the table quickly enough."
THINK targeted a very specialised market with the City, and being a small company individual unit costs were high; the THINK City was on sale for around $35,000 in the US.
The tiny model would simply not be able to compete against more recently available mass produced electric vehicles. Models such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV or the Nissan LEAF are far better equipped and appropriate for modern urban motoring – in a more superior league to the City but at a similar price.
It's a shame to see such an enterprise not succeed, but their early research and development may one day be considered a vital component to the success of the increasingly competitive electric vehicle industry.
LA Times, Automotive News Europe
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