Auto Service World
Feature   October 1, 2000   by CARS Magazine

Ford delivers First Th!nk electric vehicle

Ford of Canada president and CEO Bobbie Gaunt has delivered the first TH!NK city electric vehicle in Canada to Firoz Rasul, chairman and CEO of Ballard Power Systems. The vehicle was presented on Sept...


Ford of Canada president and CEO Bobbie Gaunt has delivered the first TH!NK city electric vehicle in Canada to Firoz Rasul, chairman and CEO of Ballard Power Systems. The vehicle was presented on September 21st at Science World in Vancouver. TH!NK city provides comfortable transportation for two adults and is designed for urban driving, with a real-world driving range of approximately 85 kilometres, a 0 – 50 km/h time of seven seconds and a top speed of 90 km/h. A liquid-cooled three-phase alternating current-induction motor powers the car. Nineteen nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries – also water-cooled for maximum performance – generate approximately 11.5-kilowatt-hours of energy to power the motor. For easy recharging, customers can plug the TH!NK city directly into any 220-volt/16-amp outlet. It takes approximately eight hours to fully charge a drained battery and five hours to attain an 80 percent charge at 220 volts – the same voltage that runs most kitchen stoves and clothes dryers.

Most of the vehicle is recyclable, including its NiCad batteries and the thermoplastic body panels. The delivery of the Norwegian-built unit marks the start of Ford of Canada’s national demonstration program geared to put up to 50 battery-electric TH!NK city vehicles on the road over the next two years.

“We’re looking for unique opportunities to demonstrate our TH!NK city in a real-world environment,” says Terry Spyropoulos, Ford of Canada brand manager for alternative fuel and TH!NK Group vehicles. “Electric vehicles are ideal in stop-and-go city driving because they produce zero tailpipe emissions and offer reduced maintenance and improved efficiency over the gasoline engine.”

TH!NK city went into production in November 1999 in Norway and is currently sold in Scandinavia. A North American version of the TH!NK city is under development and will be available within two years.