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Posts Tagged ‘Going Green’

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photo: Think

Norwegian electric automaker Think on Wednesday announced a deal to send 550 of its City urban runabouts to Spain, continuing to seed the European market as governments offer incentives for carbon-free cars.

The deal with Spanish electric car distributor Going Green calls for Think to start delivering the City later this year through early 2010. Spain’s government has launched a €10 million ($13.3 million) program to subsidize electric cars and an electric car charging network. Going Green will sell the Think City to private customers as well as to companies and municipalities.

“Spain is an important and large market for us, and the Spanish government’s decisive action to move to electric vehicles will enable Think to continue to take advantage of our first-mover position in the European EV market,” Think CEO Richard Canny said in a statement.

Think has done similar-sized deals in the Netherlands and Austria while it conducts a bake-off in the U.S. among eight states that want to host the company’s North American assembly plant. While Think continues to do deals, its factory outside Oslo remains idle as it attempts to secure funding to restart operations after the credit crunch forced layoffs late last year.

Ironically, one country not providing incentives to Think is Norway. The Norwegian government has rejected Think’s plea for a loan guarantee to help it raise capital. That had Think investor Wilber James, a venture capitalist with Rockport Capital Partners, fuming when Green Wombat ran into him at Fortune Magazine’s Brainstorm Green conference two weeks ago.

“The Norwegian government has made trillions from North Sea oil, and they can’t give Think $10 million!” said James, whose firm invested in Think last year and formed Think North America with Silicon Valley VC Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He noted that three U.S. states, meanwhile, are offering tax breaks and cash in a bid to become the site of Think North America’s first U.S. factory. Oregon was one of the states, James said; he would not say what the other two were.

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