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Electric-car maker Think plots rebound

Derailed by money problems, Think hopes to jump-start itself financially and begin production of a small electric car in the fourth quarter.

Think, which plans to make a small all-electric car, expects to secure a fresh round of funding and emerge from bankruptcy next month, according to a company representative.

Settling its debts and boosting its capital will allow Think to start producing its electric city car by the end of year. If all goes as planned, the company hopes to start shipping the Think City, a highway-capable electric car with a 100-mile range, to European customers by the end the year, company spokesperson James Andrews said Tuesday. Already, 2,500 people have ordered cars.

The company is also looking at a handful of states in the U.S. where it would produce the Think City, which has a top speed of 65 miles per hour, for sale in the U.S. The Think City is a two-seater hatchback, but the company is also working on a four-seater big enough for two adults and two children, Andrews said.

The Think City: rearing to go. Think Global

Norway-based Think is at the forefront of a wave of electric sedans that are expected to come to market in the next few years. Although the range is limited in on these electric cars, automakers expect it's sufficient for consumers' daily commuting needs.

Nissan on Monday said the Leaf, an electric sedan with a 100-mile range and a set of online features. will be available for sale next year.

Coda Automotive will introduce its China-manufactured sedan in California next fall. Other planned all-electric sedans include Mitsubishi's iMiev and Detroit Electric namesake car.

Think, originally formed when Ford sold it to outside investors, hit financial problems in December and had to stop production. It has spent the last months rebuilding and expects to have a court date in August that should allow it to emerge from bankruptcy protection, Andrews said.

It also has developed a business to sell its power train to third parties. The Japan Postal Service, in a deal initiated by battery supplier EnerDel, has signed on to test the power train inthousands of its vans.

"We're the only one out with a fully integrated E.V. drive system," Think's CEO, Richard Canny, told The New York Times. "It's an opportunity to get further volume and scale on the technology we already have. And it helps us get better pricing on components and further our development of E.V. drivetrain systems."