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Electric Think returns

Date: 29 November 2006   |   Author: Richard Yarrow

Business car users are expected to be at the front of the queue when one of the best-known names in urban electric motoring is relaunched next year.

An all-new version of the Think two-seater is going on sale in the autumn, and London is one of two European cities being targeted in the initial push for customers.

While there's no word on price, it's expected a large percentage of take-up will be from business drivers on lease deals.

Chief operating officer Richard Blundell would only say: "There are a number of alternative financing ideas that we have started to discuss with potential partners."

The attraction for London firms will be the exemption from the Congestion Charge and free parking in certain boroughs.

The newcomer is still a silent two-seater with a small boot, made from a rugged thermoplastic bodyshell that doesn't rust or dent. However, the styling has been updated and the range improved; while the old car did 50 miles before the battery went flat, this one will do closer to 80.

Standard kit includes ABS brakes, power steering, electric windows and mirrors and central locking.

Launched in November 1999, the original Think was the work of a Norwegian company and caught the public's imagination as futuristic urban transport for people who did low-speed urban journeys. It was bought by Ford and a number of cars were placed with London companies to showcase the convenience of a plug-in electric vehicle. However, the whole project was eventually mothballed as part of the US giant's financial cutbacks and sold to the current owner back in Norway. Capital city Oslo is the other place where the 2007 model will be launched next year.

Think won't talk about sales expectations at the moment, but volumes will be too low to support a traditional dealer network. Some sort of internet-based operation supporting a single location is the most likely scenario.