Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski tests out Norway's Think City electric car, hopes to manufacture them in Oregon

Thursday, April 09, 2009

There are two articles here and here (both with videos as well) detailing Think's visit to Oregon as it tours a few US states in an attempt to find the best location to manufacture its cars in the US, and it seems the governor of Oregon is a huge supporter of the idea. The winning state will benefit by having some 900 high-paying jobs, and a central placement as a pioneer in the upcoming electric car industry. Now that electric cars are capable of achieving high speeds (110 kph for the Think City, one bazillion kph for Tesla's Roadster) and prices have fallen ($20,000 or so for the Think City) there really isn't a reason not to buy one anymore for anyone at all attracted by the idea of driving one...if you're in Norway or some parts of Europe. In the US this should happen after next year.

Due to the convenience of electric-powered cars, my guess is that in five to ten years it will actually start to become embarrassing to still be driving a gas-powered vehicle. Imagine being the only one of your friends that still has to make stops at the gas station to fill up (while everyone else has charged their cars the night before and are good for the day) and keep an eye on which pumps have the cheapest gas.

Here are some interesting parts from the two articles:

Gov. Ted Kulongoski wants the Norway-based Think company to plant roots here; the electric car company is also considering Michigan and California. Think's CEO said the company would create 300 jobs at first and eventually 900.

Think says they're looking at different possibilities in Oregon to make their cars, which are battery operated, can reach freeway speeds and hold a 100-hour charge. The governor announced two tax breaks in the Legislature, one for businesses making the electric car and another for buyers. Both bills have hearings next week.

The joint press conference came as a northeast Portland electric vehicle dealer is going out of businesses. EcoMotion sells small, three-wheeled electric vehicles.

Three-wheeled? People don't want to stand out that much when driving an electric car. Electric cars have to look as normal as possible to attract buyers.

And from the other one:

The world's governments are ready to pump capital into his industry and create laws to help it -- especially in the U.S. and Oregon.

“Oregon is really looking like a good place where we would like to do some business,” Canny said.

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden serves a key role on the Senate Finance Committee.

He said $2 billion in federal money was slated to go toward plug-in car technology.

The governor is urging state lawmakers to pass tax credits for electric car builders and buyers.

Oregon politicians attending the test drive are decided.

They want this green company in Oregon and they want the jobs that come with it.


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