Last March the Think City caught are interest with the announcement that the micro electric vehicle (EV) would be brought to the U.S. for sale. Even better, Think announced that they were planning on opening a production plant in the U.S. in order to supply U.S. and undoubtedly all North American consumers. That reports was back in March, so now on the cusp of 2010 we have received news that Think is still alive and kicking and they are in the process of narrowing down their production site in here in the States.
According to Automotive News, the company has a public hearing date set for January 9th in Indiana. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise since the chairman of Ener1 Inc., Charles Gassenheimer, told Reuters the Think City plant would be built in Indiana. In case you weren’t up to speed on the hierarchy of investors in Think currently, Ener1 Inc., is one of the largest investors with a 31 percent equity stake and will be supplying the battery packs for Think. Given that, we believe the comments from Gassenheimer have some merit.
Think City Charging Port
This may be putting the EV before the plant, however. Think has yet to official announce plans for a specific location; they have even gone as far to tell officials in Indiana that they are looking at sites in three different states. Could be a bargaining move or the reality, but either way it seems that Indiana may is favored by some of the investing partners. It could be because Ener1 Inc. is based in Indianapolis, which would likely make transportation of the battery packs more economical.
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Going back to the hearing on January 9th; the hearing on a request for a 10-year tax abatement for a potential plant location in Goshen, Indiana. According to paperwork filed with the Elkhart County Council, the investment would be more than $24.7 million with an addition of 415 jobs to the area by the year 2013. The U.S. plant is expected to produce 60,000 cars per year.
Stay tuned for more information on the Think City as it comes across our driveway.
[Source: Automotive News - Subscription]