20 March 2008

I am not a quadricycle...

Th!nk's all-electric city car sticks it to the G-Wiz


This is the Th!nk City car. It is not a quadricycle. Not a quadricycle. Th!nk is very clear about this, and wants to make sure you remember it.

The City is an all-electric car soon to be launched in the UK as a competitor to the G-Wiz. But whereas GoingGreen, the distributors of the hapless G, attempted to talk around the vehicle's awful crash test results by claiming it was a quadricycle, not a car - no one ever has a crash in a quadricycle, see - Th!nk is very clear that the City is a proper car.

A proper car with a range of 124 miles, no less. Th!nk says that a ten hour charge from a domestic electricity socket will send you well past the 100 mile mark, and though performance is hardly blistering - 6.5 seconds to 30mph and 16 seconds to reach 50mph - the City should be cheap to run.

The total electricity cost of 10,000 miles of driving is predicted to be in the region of £125 - by Top Gear's calculations, even if you managed 40mpg in your petrol car, you'd be looking at roughly ten times that in fuel bills.

If you're thinking the City looks familiar, you're right. The Norwegian company was bought by Ford in the late 1990s, but was ditched four years later after producing the City in very limited numbers. Now back under Norwegian ownership, Th!nk is now billing itself as 'the car company of the 21st century', which at least demonstrates a reasonable grasp of the Gregorian calendar.

The City aims to be green in more than just emissions: the car is 95 per cent recyclable, while the batteries are returned to the supplier at the end of their life. Unlike the G-Wiz, you'll even be able to order it with a bit of kit on board - air con, Bluetooth and sat nav will all be options when the City reaches the UK at the end of this year. Expect prices to start at about £14,000.

No, it's not cheap, but the Th!nk might just be the start of viable urban electric cars. And it's not a quadricycle. Did we mention that?

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