EV Manufacturer Think to Build U.S. Factory in Indiana

Think Global is a Norwegian builder of electric cars that have been available in Europe for some time. With the push for vehicle electrification in the U.S., Think plans to build a U.S. production facility and launch its electric City cars in the U.S. as well.

A major investor revealed to Automotive News that Think chose Indiana for its U.S. factory, but would not reveal the exact location. Charles Gassenheimer, chairman and CEO of lithium-ion battery maker Ener1, which has a 31 percent stake in Think, said the site will be revealed in a few weeks.

To aid Think’s goal of setting up a production facility in the U.S., the Norwegian company applied for a government loan under the Department of Energy’s green initiative to build fuel-efficient vehicles. This is after the company went looking for money earlier this year to save itself and exit bankruptcy protection. Think received a total of $47 million from Ener1, Valmet Automotive, and a Norwegian government-backed fund investor.

With the race for electric vehicles heating up in the U.S., Think believes breaking into the U.S. market will increase its sales volume and help it prosper. Since ceasing production of the electric City car when Think entered bankruptcy, Richard Waitz, sales director for Think, said it had accumulated more than 2300 orders for the car. He added that the company aims to produce around 4600 vehicles in 2010 and to double that volume by 2011.

Source: Automotive News