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Th!nk 2 plus2?

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:33 pm
by Julia Pigworthy
If I had to guess you were probably referring to the next Th!nk model? The new City Th!nk looks like a 2 seater to me, with negligible bootspace for anything more than a few bags of shoppin gor a small child lol.
I would tend towards the Th!nk due to the prospect of being able to actually buy it to own permanently, but the battery being held to ransom by Th!nk has me worried. If they ever withdraw their battery provision then any purchased cars become Flintstones cars with no motive power of their own! I hope Im wrong and the bvattery lease will be just one option alongside the option to purchase the battery for those who can afford it. If the battery power diminishes over time the replacement cost will be far less than the equivalent cost of replacing a whole car as is the norm these days when old petrol motor cars become too expensive to repair and get written off.
Please tell me Th!nk havent got some dodgy deal whereby no owner ever gets to independantly own their EV battery. Is there anyone from Norway (where they already drive the earlier model) who can shed light on this?

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:26 pm
by clnbrtltt
We are still waiting for the Microcar Zenn 4 seater :?

First of all it was due out in March, then July and now it seems to have been delayed until September :?

Finding any information about it in the UK is not easy. There was a press release way back in July of last year and we did get an e-mail back from Microcar saying that it would be capable of 50mph with 50 mile range but no details :cry:

Anyone heard anything else :?:

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:40 pm
by goochmeister
The seating of the current Think is what they term "2+ 2 small people" :? The Think utilises the very tasty Recaro child seats in the rear .It really is a great design.As for when you can buy it, autumn 07 was the planned launch date but this has been delayed a year.Why I do not know.
The battery technology is a modular design and can be swapped out with software additions Again price I do not know .

The little known or talked about Microcar on the other hand ,well what can I say?When they get the bugs out of the system and if they keep to proposed prices this could be your market leader.

On the other hand If you want something of fantastic quality and engineering with individual styling with PB-A or Li-Poly Try the Buddy from Kewet ,dont compare this with the curreent crop of light weights it may look kooky but its of fantastic quality.And its available now in LHD and soon in RHD

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:10 pm
by goochmeister
FYI. The Microcar if and when ,will have little in common with the US ZENN apart from the French glider (allthough it may bare its name in some form) which is no bad thing as I have been told it has a 2 star NCAP rating ,the same as a the current IC Smart, dont forget the Wiz aparently made the tester "physicaly sick"when he saw the aftermath I know this is a dodgy point but if we want the EV to succeed and appeal to a wider market these issues have to be adressed.
Maybe this is why the Buddy and Think are not yet on the market I know they both place safety very very high on their list of must have's

Safety first

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:29 pm
by Julia Pigworthy
Aye, as much as I desire an EV I wouldnt purchase one unless it passed the usual stringent crash tests all other cars have to pass. The Smart EV presumably passes based upon the rating for the petrol version? Or have they removed the steel protection shell for the EV?
Th!nk are not gonna release it til they get it passed, but since it already drives in Norway (the previous version at least) then hopefully the new model should be able to sail through the same tests.
With regard to buying the car and then only being able to lease the battery, I would never do this and I doubt many others would either. Its far too dangerous to shell out for a car and not own the energy source that fuels it. I would most likely lease the whole car+bettery, or buy the whole car+battery, but I would never buy the car with a critical part of it being on lease from the company. I would rather pay more and simply depreciate the battery over 4 or 5 years as I do for my petrol car now, except without the hefty maintenance costs, petrol costs, etc, plus the possibility of the battery lasting far longer than my period of depreciation.
The whole point of an EV is the potential for independence from the fuel providers hooking us on oil and dodgy dealers selling us replacement parts that conveniently wear out on a regular basis. The battery lease idea needs to be clarified asap to put my mind at rest! Anyone know more?

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:38 am
by goochmeister
Hi ,As far as I know the Smart is a conversion of the exsisting IC model,so I am going to assume that the NCAP rating is the same (will it actually be available?)
When we were talking to TH!NK in january the NEW TH!NK had a a 4 star NCAP rating.Unfortunatly they postponed the launch date. Does anybody know why?
At the time we were very concerned about the high price and their lease plan on the traction battery,we didn't think this would go down well in the UK.
I believe that the way to go like you say is a quality vehicle that can be purchased outright with honest and reasonable service costs,
You say you would rather pay more. What would you pay for this type of EV and what would you consider a resonable yearly service charge?

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 4:28 pm
by timpootle
Leasing batteries is not a new idea. The Citroen Berlingo and Peugeot Partner are identical vans, but most Partner Electriques had leased batteries.

Notice that you don't see many Partners on ebay. Also, caveat emptor if you do see one for sale. The batteries may not be included in the sale.

I think leasing the batteries makes sense for a business using the vehicle- if you are depending on the range to do the job, that might be included in the lease agreement and you get new batteries when you need them.
This takes the risk of the unknown away from the business. Having done my homework, I no longer fear battery degredation.

Battery concerns

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:10 pm
by Julia Pigworthy
My fear is that if we allow the industry to lease batteries to us now without the option to buy, the money made from owning our cars' energy source will be too lucrative to surrender and will block the desire to develop batteries that last longer than the life of a car. Wheres the incentive for Th!nk or anyone to develop batteries we only buy once if they can get punters to pay 80 quid a month for life? Once 'hooked' it will never change, so we must insist on being able to own the whole car PLUS battery in order for EV manufacturers to compete on the basis of providing the best batteries with their models. I accept that leasing should definitely be an option, but another option must be to buy the battery if you so desire. Mrs Scroggins going 10 miles to the shops and back every couple of days need never buy another battery again, but her lower mileage and fewer recharges will NOT translate into a saving over petrol costs if she is charged the same per month as a commuter doing 20k miles per year. No thanks, I will buy the whole car with a general guarantee on battery life, but not a car without any ownership of the motive power. Thats little better than the petrol station financially, and you won't save any money by driving less in any one month.

Service costs estimate

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:18 pm
by Julia Pigworthy
I wouldnt want to pay a flat fee for servicing as the parts in the car should be guaranteed for a significant number of years anyway. One of the attractions of an EV is the potential savings of not paying for replacement parts every year, so while the MOT would cost the usual nominal fee plus a half hour of labour, there shouldnt be much to replace beyond a tyre change every so often.
I allow £800/year for my Mondeo, including full service, MOT and a little cushion for unexpected probs. I would hope an EV would be about £50/year for an MOT with no major problems to fix, plus another £100/year in the bank for tyres/miscellaneous wear and tear. The only big cost to allow for is depreciation of the battery over 4 or 5 years, say £1000-2000/year (which is similar or lower than the depreciation of a petrol car today in case that looks scary). £5-10k should buy a new battery, and costs are only going to come down as technology improves. Plus if the battery lasts longer than anticipated then you're quids in!

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:34 am
by timpootle
We are in agreement. I too would not want to lease batteries, as I am a low mileage user.