Dan Neil: Just Think What Ford Could've Done With EVs

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
dan neil just think what ford couldve done with evs

To bring you up-to-speed (so to speak) on Norway's homegrown EV maker: "In 1999, Think [was] bought by the Yankee giant Ford Motor Co.," LA Times writer Dan Neil relates. "which was scrambling at the time to comply with California's Zero Emission Vehicle mandate, essentially requiring automakers to build fleets of electric vehicles. Ford renamed the company Think Nordic and began a complete redesign of the car. When, in 2003, the American automakers succeeded in modifying California's mandate, Detroit's flirtation with electronic vehicles ended. General Motors Corp. famously killed the EV1 program, and Ford sold Think to a Swiss electronics firm." So Dan flew over to Aurskog to have think about the recently resurrected Think (and avoid using the word "think" until the summation). Once again, range. "Now, after several course corrections that added perhaps 20Still the Think City — a 2,449-pound runabout with plastic body panels and an official range of 112 miles on full charge — hums along." AND [allegedly] meets federal crash and safety standards, thanks to FoMoCo development. While Think has yet to think-up a suitable anything plan for the U.S. market, Dan thinks Think proves that EVs are viable. I think. "Is a safe, practical electric car possible? The answer seems to be yes."

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4 of 21 comments
  • ZoomZoom ZoomZoom on Jun 29, 2008

    I am hoping for a viable, reasonably inexpensive EV vehicle that I can charge in my garage overnight, and use at least 3 or 4 days per week. An alternative would be the Honda Insight. Small, 2-seater, very fuel efficient. A few of my requirements: 1. Crashworthy 2. Freeway-capable 3. Air Conditioning (I live in Florida) 4. A 200 mile range, depending on speed and AC usage 5. A mid $20K price range 6. Not manufactured by GM, Ford, or Chrysler (sorry; I just don't think I can trust any of them to do a competent job AND to support their work)

  • Guyincognito Guyincognito on Jun 29, 2008

    I drove the Th!nk City and found it to be like driving tupperware. It was really, really small, low and felt as safe as, well driving a piece of tupperware, which actually made it quite fun. I'm not sure how valuable the work Ford did was to make the car production ready. There was a poorly funded, disorganized team working on it well off the corporate radar. It is too bad Ford didn't invest more and stick with Th!nk.

  • Shaker Shaker on Jun 30, 2008

    They should convert it to a single rear-wheel drive (so it can be classified as a motorcycle) reduce the weight (and some of the crash-worthiness) and offer it for 20-25k. They'll sell every one they can make; the people that are riding motorcycles and scooters to save money will actually appreciate the body shell and climate control.

  • Mdf Mdf on Jun 30, 2008

    ZoomZoom: "Don’t forget, it requires oil to make things out of steel, plastic, copper, aluminum, and rubber. All of these things are in every car, whether gasoline or electric powered." The content of the following URL needs to be much more widely known: http://peakoildebunked.blogspot.com/2008/01/326-detailed-breakdown-of-us-petroleum.html In effect, the amount of oil used for plastics -- 10% -- is almost ignorable. Even aviation and trucking is dwarfed by the amount of oil that is burned in cars and light trucks. The lesson here is simple: get cars off oil! We basically double our consumption of oil every generation. http://peakoildebunked.blogspot.com/2008/06/364-other-peak-oil.html Japan, Israel, Germany, Denmark, Italy and Sweden are all on declining consumption curves -- some for a decade. Rapid up-take of EV's will push those curves into a precipitous decline indeed. Now then ... what were you saying?