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Electric-vehicle maker Think Global files for bankruptcy

The 20-year-old company took the action after failing to find additional capital, the Norwegian company said in a statement.

June 24, 2011|By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

Electric-vehicle maker Think Global has filed for bankruptcy in Norway, where it is based.

The company is among the older manufacturers of battery-powered cars, emerging more than 20 years ago and launching its Think City model in 1999. Think has struggled on its own after being sold by Ford Motor Co., which owned it from 1999 to 2003.

A court-appointed trustee will manage the company in the interests of creditors, the company said in a statement.

"Think filed for bankruptcy after failing to attract adequate capital to continue funding operations," the statement said.

"We needed some additional funding, and although we had interested investors, they were not able to come to the table quickly enough," Think spokesman James Andrew told Automotive News Europe.

The all-electric, zero-emission cars can travel 100 miles on a single charge, using lithium-ion batteries made in Indiana, Think said.

But with a price tag of more than $30,000, the tiny urban car has had to compete against other clean-tech vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt. Just a few months ago, Think began delivering its first vehicles to the U.S. and had planned to expand the rollout this year.

A North American subsidiary based in Dearborn, Mich., is not included in the bankruptcy, although the trustee will eventually decide the unit's fate.

Initial production on what the company had hoped would be 20,000 cars a year had started last year at a factory in Elkhart, Ind.

There are 10,000 Think vehicles on the road worldwide, the company has said. Some have been adapted as ambulances in the Netherlands, cargo vans in Finland, taxis in Norway and mail carriers in Tokyo.

tiffany.hsu@latimes.com

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