By on June 23, 2011

Car production is for the REALLY big boys only. It takes boatloads of patience and money. Ignore it at your peril. Or rather at the peril of your creditors – if you can find any. Latest road kill: The Norwegian EV maker Think Global filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, as Automotive News [sub] reports. Nothing new for Think. According to AN, “it is the fourth time Think has collapsed financially in its 20-year history.”

Production of Think’s only product, the City minicar, had ceased in March. The car had been made under contract by Think investor Valmet in Finland. In 2010, Think sold only 1,043 units. That the, well, minimalist car retailed for $41,000 before subsidies did not help.

Ener1, which supplied the batteries for the Think City has taken a charge of more than $32 million on unpaid loans and accounts receivable from Think Global.In May, Ener1 had already written-off its $73 million stake in Think, says the Indianapolis Business Journal.

U.S. subsidiary Think North America, which has an EV production plant in Elkhart, Ind. will most likely get drawn into the bankruptcy, AN figures, “because it is financially supported by the headquarters in Norway.” From mid-1999 until January 2003, Think was owned by Ford.

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18 Comments on “Think Or Swim: Norwegian EV Maker Goes Under...”

  • avatar

    Yay. Another golf cart manufacturer bites the dust! Tesla and Fisker should be next. *fingers crossed*

    • 0 avatar

      You sound like you’re looking forward to it. Have these companies ever done anything to you to earn your wrath?

      • 0 avatar
        Darth Lefty

        They’re wasting our tax dollars and defrauding our retirement investments. (They get very little actual income from selling electric cars.)

      • 0 avatar

        And Tesla and Fisker are creating (overpriced) performance electric cars. You know, the type that will consume more electricity than regular electrics. Way to save the planet!

      • 0 avatar

        Not to mention that the same government that is squandoring our borrowed future on these con artists is shutting down coal fired electric plants left and right while similarly dumping subsidies into inefficient alternatives that will make electricity a luxury good. Yes, Tesla and Fisker have earned the wrath of anyone with a clue about our future.

      • 0 avatar

        Why-o-why is it that when someone who builds an electric car, and the government robs people to pay him, people get mad at the car maker. When someone teaches your children nonsense, or even somesense but overcharges for it, and the government robs people to pay those guys; those doing the teaching deserves the wrath. And ditto when the government robs you to pay corn farmers for ethanol, bankers for being bankers etc., etc.

        How long does it really have to take before people grow the heck up, and recognize the common factor in all this robbing, is not a plethora of little guys who just happen to be partial beneficiaries of all the robing, but rather the government itself? Just get rid of those guys, or at least 90+% of them, and leave the rest alone. After all, the only institution with the guns to do any systematic robbing, is the government. Not some starry eyed EV maker whose sole sin is probably to have been indoctrinated/educated by an equally starry eyed yahoo of a public school indoctrinator sufficiently indoctrinated himself to actually believe government as practiced to day has even so much as a single positive attribute.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve worked for a politician before. He spent his days facing a barage of leeches with their hands out for our money. Eventually they wore him down, and I left in disgust. Politicians may be horrible, but they’re mostly just people. Pelosi excepted. They’re basically cowards controlled by lobbyists who are there to grift taxpayer loot for groups like ecoscams, unions, farmers, contractors, foreign governments, and anyone else with a good us and them argument. There is no reason to hold any parties in the fleecing of our country blameless. Anyone with a conscience is free to not engage in a subsidized venture, join a union, or file for a hand out. If they choose to, then they’re certainly as worthy of contempt as any of the other tools of the end of our free society.

  • avatar

    “From mid-1999 until January 2003, Think was owned by Ford.”

    Another of Neutron Jac’s (Mr. BLI to you) not better ideas.

    Despite the wreckage that clown leaves behind, he really seems to keep landing on his feet… (His results next to Schrempp’s are nearly indistinguishable…)

  • avatar

    Considering us Norwegians has a lot of cheap and green electricity (water turbines) we really should have been able to sustain one tiny EV company. But, city people don’t think it’s cool enough, and the people living in the ‘middle of nowhere’ (like me) can’t live with the short range. They were as far as I know not bad cars though. Peugeot chassis parts gave a comfy ride, and low weight ment they weren’t violently slow either. We should be ashamed of ourselves, I guess. Ford didn’t help much either though….

    • 0 avatar

      I thought the electricity grid there was connected to the rest of Europe, so that any excess gets exported, and prices were about the same as elsewhere.

      Also, a very sparsely populated, mountainous country, is not really the ideal spot for battery powered vehicles at this point in time. Oslo would be the only half way densely populated area, and they have a safe and decent public transportation system which is probably even less energy intensive than EVs.

      • 0 avatar

        More or less correct on the prices, but adjusted for a typical Norwegian income we still have quite cheap electricity (and gasoline btw,though not as cheap as the US)
        Compared to the US we don’t really have any densely populated area at all (half the population of Manhattan spread on a surface almost the size of California) But the population is quite evenly spread, so a normal everyday commute is normally not exceeding the range of a EV. Quite a few people could easily own a Ev as a second car (most families have two cars anyway)
        As you said, Oslo has e pretty decent public transportation system for those that live in the city (and they probably don’t even own a car if they are young and/or single) But many of the people who work in the cities don’t live there. We are quite conservative in our car choices though.

  • avatar

    More evidence that BEVs are (still) not ready for prime time. The main advantage of the BEV (easy operation) disappeared circa 1914 when the self-starter was invented. The disadvantages of BEVs (short range, high cost, long recharging times) are still with us. Maybe in another 100 years…

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Estimates are that it takes 4-7.5 kWH just to refine a gallon of gasoline. Then there is also the energy to remove it from the ground and transport it. Imagine how much electricity is consumed in the US just to refine petroleum every year. Your ICE vehicle is lot more dependent on electricity than you may think.

    The Volt and Leaf can go 15 miles on 4 kWH BTW.

  • avatar

    They did not have any chance, once they left Ford…

    The only interesting thing they made were hot sodium batteries with interesting range, but I don’t think they still use them.

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