Norwegian car maker TH!NK unveiled a new model, a five seater, the TH!NK Ox, at the Geneva Auto Show. The production model is said to closely resemble the concept car. The base model Ox, scheduled for production in 2011, will have a range of about 125 miles (200 kilometers) on a charge and a top speed of about 80 mph (130km/hr).
A crossover, the TH!NK Ox is an electric five-seat car close to the size of a sport utility vehicle but lighter and more aerodynamic.
In a related announcement GE said it is ramping up its efforts to enable global electrification of transportation by investing in $4 million in TH!NK and $20 million in A123Systems. GE is now A123’s largest cash investor. TH!NK has signed a commercial supply agreement with lithium-ion battery manufacturer A123Systems. The A123 supply agreement provides TH!NK with patented Nanophosphate™ lithium-ion batteries for the TH!NK City, now in production at the company’s factory in Norway. Think is delivering TH!NK City cars in Norway, with international sales to follow later in the year.
We see many important opportunities emerging from our new relationship with GE. This relationship will help TH!NK – the manufacturer of the first highway-approved electric car in mass production – to stay at the forefront of electric vehicle technology.
--Jan-Olaf Willums, TH!NK CEO, at the Geneva Auto Show
The following was adapted from the TH!NK website for the concept car. I would not expect all of them to appear in the production car:
An unpainted and recyclable exterior and a 95% recyclable interior material, is made possible through the ABS and PP interior systems. A solar panel in the roof keeps the vehicle’s interior cool when the engine is switched off, or can even supply enough power to run the sound system on the beach.
The TH!NK Ox Platform design allows two different standards of battery packs:
- High stack: two compartments, allows use of low cost, high range sodium batteries
- Low stack: gives space for flat Li Ion packs, allows lower/upper frame for sports car and flat flow applications
The Li-ion batteries can be charged to 80% capacity in less than an hour with a high power, off-board fast charger. Charging the TH!NK Ox from zero to a fully charged state from a standard 230V/16A European outlet, will take approximately 12 hours using the onboard charger.
Batteries account for 350 kg of the cars total weight of 1500 kg.
Full specifications can be found here.
The Ox is a platform concept, designed for electric drive vehicles, for both the European, North American and Asian markets. Several models are possible in the future. The MPV version is suggested as a taxi with a larger luggage space. It is designed for easy entry and exit, and a spacious and easy access luggage trunk. The coupé and sports versions have a larger battery capacity for higher performance. The sports version would have a higher top speed and a range extended to up to 450km, a range also relevant for the taxi version.
TH!NK has more than 17 years of experience in developing and producing electric vehicles. Today, 1,200 TH!NKs are driving on Norwegian roads. The new TH!NK City is a fifth-generation electric vehicle assembled in Norway. Series production of the TH!NK City car started late last year and the first cars will be delivered to Norwegian customers. At the Geneva Show, it announced the TH!NK City’s launch in selected markets in Europe later this year. The capacity of its first assembly plant in Aurskog, outside Oslo, is presently being increased to 10,000 cars per year, which Think expects to reach during 2009.
Although it will not be on the market until 2011, and the price is unknown, the TH!NK Ox would appear to be the first electric vehicle that could easily replace many cars now in use. With an optional battery pack that would extend the range to 270 miles (450 km) it could be used for most needs.