Assembly of Think City electric cars, Elkhart, Indiana, Jan 2011
Originally formed in Norway in 1991, Think has been around longer than several other dedicated electric car companies--but it's had its fair share of problems too.
Now, reports CBS News, two solitary workers at the Elkhart, Indiana plant are finishing construction of the final few cars shipped in from Norway, with the company once again in new hands, following Russian investment.
Relatively low demand for electric cars in general meant extremely low demand for the Think City, which was initially priced within range of the much more accomplished Nissan Leaf.
Repeated discounts have been offered to entice buyers, with liquidation pricing of the discontinued model initially bringing the cost down to $22,300. One Think dealer in Oregon offering the car for as little as $16,000 (pdf file) after an "Oregon Friends and Family Discount", a price that could drop to $8,500 for those able to claim a full $7,500 federal tax credit.
Until then, the factory was soldiering on, despite doubts over its future. And despite $17 million in stimulus tax credits and $55 million in federal grants from previous owners Ener1, the factory never saw enough demand to churn out the touted 20,000 units per year.
Think may still have a future in a different country, but those last few cars look like the end of the line for the Indiana factory.
Unemployment in the state has reduced since Think moved in, but that will be no consolation to the final few workers screwing together the unloved city cars.