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THINK launches a 2+2 electric car and some thoughts about really small cars

By Rigval on 12 Jan 2011

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Europe is a place where electric cars (EVs) seem very viable for people to own. The governments and manufacturers over there are willing to come up or share a budget to install charging stations and the people over there are also willing to use it for short commutes and take public transport for longer trips. As such, EVs can flourish (a little) and cars by the Oslo based company THINK can sell their EVs in decent numbers. THINK must be doing well as they have introduced a 2+2 version of their Think City EV.

The car is already available for sale in Europe and everything is carried over from the smaller (really small) two seat model. The car gets a 34kW electric motor that somehow enables it to cruise at 110km/h and its batteries ensure that it has a range of 100km on a full charge. It takes 8 hours for a 100% charge on a lithium battery and on a cheaper code ‘zebra’ battery 80% in 7 hours or 80-100% in 4 hours if the battery still has some charge in it. Whatever the case, it is still a car not suited for the long distance work commute. But now, we know you can carry 4 ‘adults’ in it.

I suppose this now makes the Think City 2+2 the most favorable/affordable EV to own (unlike those Tesla sports cars). The rear seats fold if you want to go IKEA shopping and you can carry 2 kids with the rear seats in its usual people carrying mode. Note that I stated ‘adults’ as even THINK’s CEO had stated “Want to take the kids to school? You got it!”. He didn’t really state the car can accommodate 2 rugby players at the rear seats straight away. I suppose you could fit two six and a half foot rugby players in the rear seats…..if you had a cleaver and amputated them slightly above their knees.

I somehow think that EVs like this do work in a city-like environment and where distances are short. No right-minded adult would want to be cooped up in those rear seats. This reminds me of cell phones. In the late 1980s every cell phone was large.

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By the late 1990s, miniaturization started coming along and every cell phone turned tiny but all it could do was call and text people. So tiny that the phones had a tiny little screen and was about 4inches long (like the silver Nokia 8210 circa 1999 pictured with a 2010 Sony Erricsson above). You would be cupping the phone to your ear with your mouth slanted sideways. By the early 2000s, a lot of hi-tech stuff was being thrown into cell phones and they naturally got larger. Cell phone manufacturers also discovered ergonomics and realized the fact that no one had their mouths right beside their ear. So cell phone manufacturers made them larger again. We now have full screen smart phones that can do almost everything a laptop computer could and more but it wasn’t as small as what it was. It is now normal for 4inch touchscreens on a phone these days instead of one only 4 inches in length with a useless 1.5inch LED screen.

Of course car manufacturers have realized that going too large isn’t practical (some American SUVs come to mind). But I somehow think that they still haven’t realized that too small (electric or otherwise) wouldn’t work too. Much like the cell phone example given above. Maybe this is the reason why cars like the Smart ForTwo are finding sales harder to find once the novelty of having one wore out.

One day they’ll realize that people would like proper rear seats in smallish cars too instead of those occasional rear seats that they so much like to promote these days. Or they may realize that people do in fact have something called feet after the knees.

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electric car, small cars, opinion and 1 more...

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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