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Think to Add U.S. Electric Car Plant

thinkcitycar2Think, an electric car company based in Norway, plans to open a U.S. manufacturing plant.

Think hopes to begin production in 2010 with a first-year volume of 2,500 cars. Production capacity at the plant would be 16,000 cars, according to a press release. Eventually, the company may produce upwards of 60,000 vehicles annually and employ 900 people in the United States.

Eight states, including Michigan, are in the running for the initial factory, which would employ 300 people and build the TH!NK city car, an all-electric model that can travel up to 112 miles per charge.

The company already operates a production plant near Oslo, Norway, capable of producing 16,000 vehicles annually.

Think North America said it will apply for low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program, created in 2007 to develop fuel-efficient vehicles.

Additionally, Think is collaborating with battery makers Ener1 Inc. and A123, which are both under contract to supply battery power systems for the TH!NK city.

Think is owned by private equity group Novus Energy Partners.

Last June, the US Department of Energy said it would contribute up to $30 million over three years for three cost-shared Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) demonstration and development projects.

Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla is among those applying for federal funds.

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