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Think Global will soon begin U.S. production of new electric car, The City

think_cityThe widening palette of electric vehicles entering the United States marketplace will expand again soon when Think Global AS announces the location of the U.S. production plant for its model, The City. Think Global AS, which exited bankruptcy protection in August, has already started production of the battery-powered vehicle in Uusikaupunki, Finland.

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The Oslo-based company, reorganized with a $47 million capital injection, is “30 to 60 days” from announcing a U.S. production site for its cars, Richard Canny, chief executive officer, told Bloomberg. Three U.S. cities are vying for the production facility with the announcement of the location expected before the end of January, 2010.

think“Test fleets, governments and universities will be the main buyers of electric cars for a few years,” said Michael Omotoso, a senior analyst at the Troy, Michigan, office of J.D. Power & Associates. The researcher forecasts U.S. sales of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, which also have internal- combustion engines, won’t exceed 200,000 until 2015.

The City has a range of 112 miles on a charge and will cost about $30,000 in the U.S. after a $7,500 federal tax credit, Canny said. The company said it has orders for 2,350 cars.

Think Global hired investor Valmet Automotive, a contract manufacturer, to build the cars. The first customers will be in The Netherlands and other European countries. U.S. sales are expected to begin in late 2010.

The City is a modified version of an all-electric car originally developed by Ford. It can go 65 miles per hour at top speed and 110 miles on a single charge. Thus, it’s not for freeway jockeys. Instead, it’s targeted at those living in urban cores who short trips and can charge the car up a night.

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