Electric car number 2500 is news? Well, sort of, for now. And it’s a cute car, so why not help them celebrate?
THINK, the Norwegian maker of the City electric car, trumpeted the news when it rolled car number 2500 out the door of their plant in Finland yesterday.
I know, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to traditional car makers (or even the Toyota Prius – 50,000 a month), but for an electric car, it’s a significant milestone. The company claims the compact-electric car is the world’s bestselling electric vehicle.
But in reality, this is the last chance for THINK to make grand claims about electric car sales, because that record isn’t going to last long when the Nissan Leaf hits the streets in December.Nissan has promised 4th quarter delivery of at least 4,700 cars to the 11 US cities participating in the EV Project. Production is expect to ramp up in 2011, and Nissan has reportedly capped reservations at 20,000.
But even if the City won’t hold it’s “bestselling electric car” title for long, the compact-electric vehicle will provide a less costly alternative to the Leaf and should be able to ride the wave of hype and infrastructure following in Nissan’s wake.
The City, a two-seater that the company claims “can maintain speeds of 70 miles per hour and travel up to 100 miles on a single charge,” is set to hit the streets in the United States early as the end of this year. The company is eager to enter the U.S. market, according to CEO Barry Engle:
As electric transportation goes mainstream, the U.S. stands to become the largest electric car market in the world. We expect the tried-and-tested City to be among the most visible EVs on America’s streets and highways in the very near future.
The City may be small news compared to the Leaf, but it’s good news for one Indiana community. THINK plans to start building the two-seater electric vehicle at a plant in Elkhart. According to local news source WSBT.com, observers have reported recent activity at the former RV parts factory, including for lease and for sale signs being replaced with THINK North America logos. WSBT reports that THINK North America “will begin production on 500 mostly assembled cars shipped in from Finland as early as next week.”
No word yet on how soon those cute new electric cars will be available, or in which markets. Earlier reports mentioned plans to sell the THINK City in New York in 2010, but I would think the company would follow Nissan’s lead and hit the 11 EV Project cities.
So, tell us what you think: Are you ready for the electric car? If so, are you in love with the Leaf, or would you THINK about a City?