THINK Releases a Ranking of EV-Ready Cities

By Brendan Moore


Think logoTHINK, the Norwegian EV automobile maker, has put together a list of cities in the US that are ready for EVs, and, furthermore, has ranked those cites in terms of their relative openness to EV automobiles, as well as their level of potential gain in terms of positive consequences.

Whew. Got all that?

If you recall, THINK announced plans recently to refit a shuttered RV factory in Elkhart, Indiana in order to produce the THINK City electric car there, which also required the genesis of THINK North America. The $43.5 million production site will have eventual capacity of 20,000 vehicles annually. Production is scheduled to launch in 2011 and the plant will employ up to 400 people by 2013, according to THINK executives.

It is probably accurate to describe the small EV company as “plucky”. The people at THINK believe in their business model and believe that some Americans are ready for a new kind of everyday car, and by golly, they’re going to do their level best to make that happen. The small company is unabashedly interested in doing well by doing good.

Just to be clear, the previous paragraph is not the build-up to the usual punch line from a jaded, cynical writer (I raise my hand) – in this instance, I sincerely wish them the best of luck in their efforts.

2010 THINK City

The car they wish to sell to Americans, the THINK City, is a purpose-built, all-electric car that is definitely designed with urban environments in mind. The company says it can travel at highway speeds for more than 100 miles on a single charge with zero local emissions. It is the world’s first EV to be granted certification with the European CE conformity mark and EU homologation requirements (M1 certificate). To achieve these exacting standards, the THINK City has been through extensive testing and validation and several hundred computer simulations and correlations.

Company officials believe the City will do equally well in similar tests required by the United States government.

On a related note, THINK also announced a new charging technology platform two days ago that the company claims can supply an 80% charge to their EV battery pack in a mere 15 minutes – quite a jump in charging efficiency.

The official press release from THINK regarding the city rankings and the score using THINK’s criteria follows:



  • California Captures Four Cities in the Top-15 Index Including Top Two – Los Angeles and San Francisco
  • Chicago and New York Tie for Third
  • Washington, DC Makes List at 13 

WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 28, 2010 – Today, pioneering electric vehicle company THINK released its first U.S. EV-Ready Cities Index.  The top four cities included first-ranked Los Angeles and second-ranked San Francisco with Chicago and New York tied for third.  The THINK EV-Ready Cities Index was presented by THINK CEO Richard Canny at the Electric Drive Transportation Association Annual Conference and Meeting at the Washington Auto Show.  The company recently announced plans to manufacture the THINK City electric car in Elkhart, Ind. with U.S. production slated to begin early next year.

San Diego, Portland and Sacramento were rated fifth, sixth and seventh putting four cities in California in the top-15 index.  Rounding out the top ten were Newark, Seattle and Atlanta.  The remaining cities included Denver, Boston, Washington, DC, Philadelphia and Phoenix.

THINK developed the EV-Ready Cities Index to measure which markets are most likely to begin and benefit from the transition to electric vehicles, providing an objective comparison of the EV purchase and usage incentives as well as the market fit for EVs.

“We expect that the roll-out of EV’s to the U.S. market will be quite focused in the early stages.  Some cities are more likely to be early adopters of EV technology, and the EV-Ready Cities Index will be a helpful tool to guide and prioritize the development of those markets.  It reflects the available government support, consumer acceptance, and the opportunity for EVs to provide the maximum benefits possible from electric drive,” Canny said.  “Since EVs are a unique solution for congested urban environments, we are taking a city-by-city approach rather than a national or state-by-state approach.”

The THINK EV-Ready Cities Index takes into account purchase and usage incentives – such as HOV lane access and infrastructure support – for electric vehicles as well as market fit, which includes factors such as hybrid sales, traffic congestion, EPA non-attainment zone status (air quality), and potential lower-carbon energy sources for vehicle recharging.  The index was compiled for THINK by ASG Renaissance, a market research and business services firm located in Dearborn, Mich.

The U.S. EV-ready index mirrors one THINK developed for targeting markets in Europe, which recognized Oslo, Copenhagen and Amsterdam as the top-three markets.  The company plans to continue to monitor EV-ready factors and periodically update and release its index.

“Ideally, we would like the THINK City to be available throughout the U.S. next year, but in our early commercialization phase, it is important that we first establish a strong concentration of sales in key, highly attractive markets, which support early adoption of sustainable, zero emissions transport solutions,” Canny said.

THINK plans to begin selling the THINK City, which will have a top speed of more than 70 miles per hour and a range of more than 100 miles per full charge, in target U.S. cities beginning this year. 

THINK EV-Ready Cities Index scorecard


Purchase/Usage Incentives 

Market Fit 

Overall Score 

Los Angeles




San Francisco




Chicago (tie)




New York (tie)




San Diego
































Washington DC





















About THINK:

THINK is a pioneer in electric vehicles and a leader in electric vehicle technology, developed and proven over 19 years.  It is one of the few companies that are currently producing highway-ready, fully electric vehicles for sale – the THINK City.  THINK is also a leader in electric drive-system technology, and was the first to offer a modular and flexible EV drive-train solution in the business-to-business sector.  With its Scandinavian origins and sustainability mindset, THINK is one of the most carbon efficient car companies in the world.

THINK has established a U.S. subsidiary – THINK North America, a stand-alone business that will include manufacturing, product development, sales and distribution.  More information about THINK is available at


COPYRIGHT Autosavant – All Rights Reserved

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at

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  1. The People’s Republic of California having so many top spots is hardly a surprise. I am kind of surprised that some of the other cities are ranked so well, though.

  2. I’m surprised L.A. is ranked above San Francisco. San Francisco is more “Green” than Los Angeles, at least in my opinon. But then Portland, Oregon is radical Green and they’re not at the top of the list, so what do I know?

  3. How does SF rank at all? I mean there is practically no place to even PARK in SF. No parking spots = no charging stations.

    Phoenix still has a few free charging stations left over from the EV1 days.

  4. An 80% charge in 15 minutes? Has anyone verified this? Any independent agency, that is?

  5. Uhler:

    By the end of 2011 Nissan plans to public “quick charging” up and running at least in US cities where the Nissan LEAF will first be sold. These 3-phase 200V supplies which are capable of delivering a 10 minute “quick charge” of the LEAFS’s LiIon battery pack.

    Not to be outdone, students at MIT have fitted a Mercury Milan sedan with a 187 kW induction motor. Electricity is stored in a LiIon Phosphate battery pack that can be charges in 11 minutes (hence the name elEVen) provided it receives 350kW of power from a super high voltage power supply.

    Siemens claims to be working on a high voltage (400V) inductive rapid charging system. Such system would be wireless, embedded in the roadway, and promises to fully charge an EV liIon battery pack from a 400V supply with up to 350kW in 6 minutes.

    Now its a matter of bringing costs down.

    The first generation plug-in EVs obviously hold more promise for urban rather than suburban dwellers who have super short commutes.

  6. I hope a lot of people buy electric cars because the demand for gas will drop and so will the price and I’ll still be sporting around in my SUV.

  7. EV technology is a ways away from being practical except for a tiny part of the driving population, so I don’t care. This is a farce, this whole EV thing.

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