Think to manufacture electric cars in Indiana

The Think City, an electric car that can go 60 miles per hour and has a range of about 100 miles, will be made in the U.S. starting in 2011.

The Think City: coming to America. Think Global

Correction to release time of car made on January 6 at 3:50 a.m. PT.

Carmaker Think plans to manufacture its highway-capable electric car in Indiana and and make it available in the U.S. next year, the company said on Tuesday.

The Norway-based company is scheduled to hold a press conference in Elkhart, Indiana, where it intends to make the small car. CEO Richard Canny and Indiana governor Mitch Daniels will attend.

The Think City is an all-electric car that can go about 60 miles per hour and has a driving range of about 100 miles. It runs from lithium ion batteries supplied by EnerDel, which is based in Indiana.

Think began delivering the City to European customers in December, a year after it halted operations because it had run out of money . The company, which has its roots at Ford, had to restructure and raise more money.

The move to produce cars in the U.S., which was expected, is a welcome sign for the U.S. auto industry which has been hit hard by falling car sales and, in some cases, strategic missteps.

In a press advisory on Tuesday, Think did not indicate what sort of financial incentives the state offered. But many policymakers are eager to attract companies with advanced auto technologies, such as plug-in electric vehicles . The Obama administration last year dedicated $2.4 billion to promote domestic car battery manufacturing.

It's expected that Think will market the two-seat City to American consumers as a car suitable for daily errands or commuting. In many cases, it could be second car with a household's primary gas car able to take longer trips.

Pricing for the car is not yet available. In general, automakers say that the cost per mile of electric cars, which charge their batteries from a home outlet, will be cheaper than gasoline cars.

 

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