While the government is still on vacation, Katinka von der Lippe from Think Global, is offering us a piece of her mind. The article has been translated from the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet
7000 kilometers in driving my car THINK I still have not experienced any childhood illnesses. Just pure driving pleasure.I run one of the very few zero emmision cars in the world, and the only Noregian produced EV which is a classified as a car. 7000 kilometer means that my car has saved the Oslo area for approximately one ton of greenhouse gases. In just 6 months.
While governments in carproducing countries use billions of dollars to refocus its own automotive industry towards the development of greener cars, Norway already has the green car ready. And while other governments are talking about building clusters around environmental technology in the automotive industry, we have already in Norway, several environmental technology companies with expertise in the world class.
Norway is seen as a pioneer in environment, including within the EV scene. Almost all the major automakers have been on visits to the factory of THINK in Aurskog. They show genuine respect for the knowledge that lies behind THINK City. We show them around, but are always careful not to share the core insights in the integration of battery systems and electric drive lines. An expertise we've gained through 15 years of development and testing in the market.
On Aurskog is ready to produce cars in the running tape. Right before Christmas, we produced about 10 cars a day. It sounds small, but it is actually a world record; no other car manufacturer has ever produced a EV in such a volume: not Mercedes, not Volvo, not Ford, not GM, not Toyota or any of the other major automakers. About two to four years we will see EV´s in larger volumes from all over the world. But not in 2009 and most likely not in 2010.
THINK is alone on the world market
. All our parts from 130 suppliers are ready for assembly. The employees know how the car will be put together, and the production line has been optimized by Porsche. There are no more tests to be performed: THINK City has passed them all together.
Before Christmas we delivered in excess of 200 cars in the Norwegian, Swedish and Swiss market. Now, we have temporarily halted the production. If we overcome the financial crisis, we will up the production of about 40 cars a day in 2009.
Head of the Department of Electrical Technology at the Danish Technological Institute, Espen Larsen, is commenting in the Danish media that the EV is in danger of being set four years back if THINK must close the garage. He is quite right. For even if the major automakers are developing as fast as they can, they have to go through the exact same validation and testing phases that the THINK City already has gone through.
That is why
THINK holds a lead of 2-3 years. It is perhaps also the reason why large international media outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal, Stern Magazine, the New York Times, Red Herring, Fortune Magazine, The Sun, and many others follow the developments at THINK very closely.
THINK is ranked at the prestigious Red Herring short list of "world's best business ideas." The same is true for the magazine Business 2.0, which names the business ideas with global potential.
the Honor award in 2008 from Norwegian Forum. At the same time, the internationally renowned design guru Jasper Conran short listed THINK City to Brit Design Award 2009. Last year, Fiat 500 subject to the same credit, along with Apple's iPhone.
Design is known as one of the strongest competitive edge in the automotive industry. Therefore it is important for THINK that the products are internationally recognized within the strong design professional environments.
The only thing missing
for THINK is access to planned, normal loan-funded operations. And know that it is impossible to get loan guarantees for working capital now that the banking industry is not working. The financial crisis is the sticks in the THINK-wheels as one might put it.
My yellow THINK City stands right outside for charging. The SMS I just got from the car, told me that the battery is fully charged. At the price of a pack Oreo-Coockies, I have 111 new and clean miles available to me. While Norwegian eyes are affixed on the cargiants in the United States, I am driving completely silent and emissions-free around in Oslo by, and thinking to myself that we live in a strange world.