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'Think' line of electric cars to roll once more

/ Source: The Associated Press

The tiny Norwegian electric car company Think Nordic ASA, which went bankrupt after being sold off by Ford, announced plans Monday to resume production after raising the needed capital.

Think — based in Aurskog, northeast of Oslo — went bankrupt over a year ago, and was bought up by Norwegian investors during the liquidation process.

In a news release, the company said it had raised $25 million in fresh capital from Norwegian and international investors, and planned to begin making its new design Think City car later in the year.

The company's managing director Jan-Olaf Willums, part of the group that bought the remains of the bankrupt company, said increasing focus on the world environment could spur sales of environmentally friendly cars.

"Climate problems and local pollution in cities contribute to that," he told the Norwegian news agency NTB.

Ford Motor Co. owned the company until January 2003, and had imported hundreds of the tiny, rounded, two-seater cars to the United States for a three-year test. Ford lost faith in electric cars and sold Think to Swiss company Kamkorp Microelectronics, which owned it until the bankruptcy.

Ford invested more than $100 million in design and safety systems for the tiny car before pulling out, leaving a good platform to build on, Willums said.

He said the new Think City has a range of about 110 miles, twice that of the earlier model, and meets both European and U.S. safety standards.