Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Pioneering Scandinavian EV maker, THINK, entered the world of motor sport at the weekend with the THINK City ‘EV Cup Edition’ taking part in the START Eco Car Trials – the world’s first electric vehicle race.
The THINK City has been converted into a race-ready model by the EV Cup team of specialists in London, who have removed nearly 70kg of weight from the vehicle, achieved by stripping out the interior to leave one single lightweight racing seat and steering wheel, and replacing all glass with heat resistant and shatterproof Perspex.
A revised suspension system to lower the centre of gravity for the already well-planted car and further improving handling complete the conversion.
These racing upgrades coupled with a software update of THINK’s patented EV drive control technology result in a very exciting performance from the race-ready EV Cup Edition.
Channel 4 TV presenter and environmentally-conscious architect Kevin McCloud, and racing enthusiast and founder of the British fashion brand, Mulberry – Roger Saul, tested the THINK City Racer for the first time at the weekend, at Kilver Court Viaduct in Somerset, previously home to the Mulberry headquarters.
The THINK City made a real impression with both eco racers. “The THINK City can overtake very competently despite its relative tiny power and that makes you feel very comfortable at the wheel,” said Kevin McCloud, “it is an excellent racing vehicle and on the short runs we were doing today it just doesn’t seem to run out of power – thanks to its linear torque – which actually makes it better than its equivalent petrol city car for short races.”
The THINK City was also a hit with Roger Saul, he said “the THINK City is the most advanced electric car in the world and is an excellent illustration of the START ethos, which is to bring sustainability to the fore in a fun way without ranting.”
Further pushing the boundaries of what is achievable in an electric car, the THINK City is also currently featuring in a new BBC documentary – Electric Ride – currently being broadcast around the world and following an intrepid BBC team as they drive their way 4,000 miles around a dozen European countries in an electric vehicle.
The team’s progress can be followed by tuning into Radio 4 on Saturdays at 1030hrs (BST / GMT +1) for four weeks from 19 June, or by logging on to BBC Online (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/electric-ride), Facebook (www.facebook.com/BBCelectricride), Twitter (www.twitter.com/bbcelectricride) and the project website (www.electricride.eu).
The latest generation THINK City is a purpose-built, all-electric car designed for urban environments. It can travel at highway speeds and cover 160 kilometers on a single charge (via conventional household outlet), with zero local emissions. It is the world’s first EV to be granted certification with the European CE conformity mark and EU homologation requirements (M1 certificate). To achieve these exacting standards, the THINK City has successfully completed very thorough testing and validation procedures.
European production of the THINK City is underway in Finland with manufacturing partner Valmet Automotive, which also assembles the Boxster and Cayman models for Porsche AG. Customer deliveries are taking place across Europe in selected key EV markets such as The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland.
THINK has also announced plans to establish a U.S. production facility during 2011 in Elkhart County, Indiana, and is working with Japanese partner Itochu on developing operations in Asia.
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