Monday, September 8, 2008

Th!nk: How Will it Fare Outside Norway?

Recently Aftenposten reported that "sales of new cars in the Oslo region have fallen by 5 percent during the last year. In contrast, sales of environmentally friendly cars...have risen by 74 percent in the same period." Norway and Norwegian based businesses have long been on the cutting edge of environmentalism, leading by example in environmental conservation and protection. Now, Norwegian-based Th!nk is looking to take its show on the road.

According to a Wired report, Th!nk is will bring its "
Think City" model to the United States beginning in early 2009. The battery-powered Think City has a range of up to 110 miles on a single charge, with a top speed of about 65 mph, and is slated to be priced under $25,000. For the city-dwelling, eco-conscious, yet practical comsumer this could be a huge step towards independence from fossil fuels.

However, historically, U.S. consumers have been slower to warm up to cars like the Th!nk. It's a small car, which only accomodates two people, has limited range and right now there's no infrastructure to support re-charging the vehicle anywhere but at home.

These are all big changes that would take any group of people a lot of time to adjust to, if ever. Personally, when I look at it, I think it would be kind of cool--in fact my in-laws are already talking about buying one. The thing is, here in Minnesota we get pretty extreme weather all year-round and I wonder if the Th!nk is up to the task of forging through the deep snow and slick ice we get everywhere-even in the big cities?

The same could be said for a lot of North American cities, so I pose the question to you: Do you think that the "Th!nk City" will be a successful venture, here in the U.S.? You can either comment below, or vote in the poll over on the right side. I'll post the results next Monday. In the meantime, please discuss.

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