Yesterday was a truly great day along the chronologic line of EV infiltration into popular transportation culture- along with some bittersweet aftertaste. Ten ThinkCity vehicles arrived from the now bankrupt Elkhart, Indiana company bound for Portland-Area owners, making our total allotment of cars at 100. This connection was fused through the efforts of PGE and its Business Development Director, Charlie Allcock, who convinced ThinkCity we could provide them all the buyers they needed- a prophesy borne out. I enjoyed the chance to mingle with Jim & Liz Houser at their Hawthorne Auto Clinic, who has taken on the warranty and serving responsibility for the owners and wanted to host a special meeting with them. My best estimate was that twenty of more arrived to visit and discuss the vehicle, plus others who were there to just check it out and see what they thought of it.
The ThinkCity is a two door hatchback with a range of 100 miles using an advanced lithium ion battery of 24kWh (the same size as the Nissan Leaf’s). It has body panels and interior trim components made of 100% recyclable plastic parts whose color is molded into the material eliminating harmful paint emissions. It costs 2-3 cents per mile to operate and comes with a three year warranty. It has a maximum power of 45 hp and a highway capable speed of 70 mph. It comes with ABS and airbags and has undergone and met all applicable US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and has a three year warranty.
Oregonians can purchase it (after applying the federal tax credit) for $8500. Yes. You read that right. $8500. Of course there is a sad part of this story fueling this pricing- bankruptcy.
The ThinkCity has been available for several months here, and has thus far shipped forty units, and with these additional shipments coming to the area, they will boost our PEV residential fleet by nearly one percent! I also like their distinctiveness as advertising for electric drive technology needs to be made more conspicuous for the public to become aware of its burgeoning use.
My company, ClipperCreek, has provided the portable charging unit for many of these vehicles and, out of enthusiasm for their dispersement, I have offered a 15% discount on our residential Level 2 charger- the LCS-25 to those buyers who want one. A recent California consumer study released this week, shows, among other interesting data, that over 90% of PEV owners opt to have home charging stations put in. For an all battery electric vehicle (BEV), such as the ThinkCity, it is more likely necessary to have a level 2 charger. A common question I have heard is whether it is necessary for the proper maintenance of the battery. Speaking to some of the ThinkCity sales folks, I was told that they prefer that owners use a level two charger for baseline charging and reserve the level one for emergencies; this is actually referenced in the Owner’s Manual. I certainly suggest folks with this battery concern flesh it out more directly with the manufacturer. I do believe, from my own experience, that most drivers will find that level 1 charging is too slow to handle normal usage (18 hours of charging time) and a level two charger allows the vehicle to charge at its fastest rate of 3.3 kw/per hour- nearly double the rate of a level one charger.
So, if you have purchased a ThinkCity and are interested in getting our ClipperCreek unit, call or email me, Barry@clippercreek.net, and I can get you a promotional code that can be entered during the purchasing process from our online store at www.clippercreek.com. This brings the cost down from $795 to $675.75 and you get the best residential charger on the market!
Enjoy the celebrations of National Plug In Day-2012! Get out and test drive an EV! And consider how an electric vehicle can meet your transportation needs and budget!
(Special Thanks to Joe Mayer for the Photo used of the Car Transporter)