Electrifying Elkhart


Elkhart’s recent economic struggles have been well-documented, most notably last year when President Obama visited. But hopefully the page is turning in Northern Indiana as Gov. Daniels and others laud the fact that a Scandinavian electric car manufacturer plans to bring several hundred jobs to the area.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and local officials joined executives from electric car manufacturer, THINK today to announce the company’s decision to locate its North American production facility in Elkhart, creating more than 400 jobs by 2013.

A leading international manufacturer of pure electric vehicles (EV) based in Norway, THINK is scheduled to begin selling the THINK City, one of the world’s first highway-ready EVs, in the U.S. later this year. The company plans to invest more than $43 million in building improvements and equipment in Elkhart. The plant is slated to begin assembling vehicles in early 2011. THINK’s investments in Elkhart will support manufacturing capacity for more than 20,000 vehicles a year. The company recently started delivering the latest generation of its THINK City model to customers in Europe where it has more than 1,500 cars on the road.

"We’ve said we’re out to make Indiana the electric vehicle state. It’s beginning to look like the state capital will be Elkhart County," said Daniels.

The THINK City can travel at highway speed for more than 100 miles on a single battery charge with zero tailpipe emissions. The vehicle is currently in production in Finland at the site of THINK’s manufacturing partner, Valmet Automotive, which also houses assembly facilities for Porsche AG’s Boxster and Cayman models. European production of the THINK City will continue at Valmet to support European market demand.

Inside INdiana Business has the full presser here.

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