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2012 Think City

Classics  /   /  By Bradley Berman

It’s wonderful, and sad, to see the Think City electric car show up on eBay. I had a blast driving the Think City for a week last summer for a review in the New York Times. The funky small EV — a full two feet longer than a Smart car — has body panels made of scratch-resistant plastic. That’s unique, but it’s the peppy drive from a 37-kilowatt motor that makes it so much fun.

At the time, I wrote: “The virtues of an electric car — swift, smooth and mostly silent operation — felt amplified relative to the expectation that the pint-size City would be underpowered. Heads turned on city streets and shook in surprise as it quickly bolted to 40 mph when the light turned green or zoomed to 70 mph, its top speed, on the highway.”

The problem with the small Think was its large price tag — about $37,000, prior to any incentives. The car is a city commuter only, and with limited two-seat functionality, basic amenities, and a driving range around 70 miles per charge, the company never really had a chance in the US market.

ford think city ev

Formerly owned by Ford, Norway-based Think suffered a series of four near-death bankruptcy experiences over the past couple of decades—each time emerging from the brink of annihilation. About 500 units of the fun and funky highway-capable plastic-bodied two-seater were shipped to the United States in early 2011—with the idea of setting up production in Indiana. By the end of year, the company appeared down for the count. (Who knows? Maybe this cat has nine lives, and will come back for a fifth time.)

Think’s demise is sad, because the City is such a delightful urban electric runabout. But their business problems could be your opportunity, as two of those Thinks—this one in Maryland and this one in Illinois—are being be sold at eBay for a fraction of last year’s price. The seller in Maryland says it bought all remaining unsold units “before new 2013 models show up next year,” allowing for volume discount pricing. (There’s no guarantee that more will be produced next year.)

Keep in mind that new vehicles powered by large battery packs qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit. That could put the net price of the Think City below $20,000—which feels like just the right number for the zippy plastic and surprisingly roomy EV.

For more information about electric cars, visit eBay’s Green Driving Center.

About the Author

Bradley Berman is a leading writer and researcher about electric cars and green transportation. He regularly contributes driving reviews and technology articles to The New York Times, Fortune, MIT Technology Review, Popular Mechanics, and other publications.

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  1. MPGomatic April 27, 2012 at 4:28 am Reply

    The Think EV is an interesting little runabout…more substantial than a neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV), but less than what you’d want to drive on the Interstate highway (while surrounded by tractor trailers).

    Lacking a parent company, the obvious issues are parts and support. Buying a Think EV is more a gamble then ever, but at these prices, why not buy two and put one away for parts? 🙂

    If I won the lottery, I’d buy an even dozen, install roll cages, wrap them in humongous foam bumpers and turn them loose on a slick track for a giant game of bumper cars.


  2. Jonelle Ohrn April 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm Reply

    This is just toooo cute!

  3. tt May 2, 2012 at 4:11 am Reply

    lovely just lovely

  4. Kent Taylor April 1, 2014 at 8:00 pm Reply

    Got over 33,000 miles on mine and at 2 cents a mile to drive, I’ll keep it.

    • Lori November 26, 2014 at 6:53 pm Reply

      Kent, mine just broke after 45,000. I lost a RLEC board. Thinking of parting mine out. Lot$ of labor to fix it. do you know of anyone looking for spare parts. I’ve got the whole car.

      • MIKE December 2, 2014 at 3:59 pm Reply

        looking for wheels for 2011 ford think

      • david wise March 15, 2015 at 1:44 pm Reply

        what do you want for your think

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