THINK, the world’s leading dedicated electric vehicle maker, has started production of the THINK City at its plant in Elkhart. The company, with global headquarters in Oslo, Norway, plans to build 300 THINK City electric cars at the facility by the end of the year.
â€œThis is another major milestone for us,â€ said THINK CEO Barry Engle. â€œWe are now manufacturing and selling both in Europe and the U.S. and have produced more than 2,500 THINK City vehicles.â€
THINK’s plant in Elkhart is receiving partially assembled vehicles from contract manufacturer Valmet in Finland, which produces THINK vehicles for the European market. Workers here are completing production of the cars, including installing electric drive trains with advanced Lithium-ion batteries from manufacturer Ener1, Inc. in Indianapolis.
THINK will replicate the current production line, tooling facilities and processes used in Finland. This coincides with the company’s plans to scale up production to build 2,500 vehicles for the American market in 2011.
â€œThis plant will be a model for efficiency and quality, as we’re going to be sharing best practices among Elkhart, Oslo and Finland,â€ said THINK Manufacturing Director Karl Turner. â€œOur process eliminates the need for paint or welding shops, so it is environmentally very clean, is low capital intensive and is readily replicable for other locations to support future growth.â€
The company currently employs more than 25 local workers in Elkhart. By the end of 2011, THINK will have more than 100 people in Elkhart building electric cars and more than 415 by the end of 2013.
THINK is the world’s leading dedicated electric vehicle manufacturer, developed and proven over 20 years. This heritage gives THINK a head start with having put nearly 10,000 electric vehicles on the road and accumulated more than 35 million road miles of customer experience. The THINK City, the first electric car to be granted panâ€“European regulatory safety approval, is sold across Europe, with sales and production in the U.S. and operations being developed in Asia.
THINK is also a leader in electric drive train technology, and was the first to offer a modular and flexible electric 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.