INDIANAPOLIS – Electric vehicle maker THINK delivered 17 of its THINK City cars to the private utilities Duke Energy and Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) for each company’s respective fleet.

The company said it is working with Duke, IPL and the Energy Systems Network (ESN), an Indiana-based clean tech initiative, to collect data on the deployment and use of electric cars as part of Project Plug-IN. By early 2011, THINK stated that Project Plug-IN will place 100 or more electric vehicles and supporting charging infrastructure with government and corporate fleets, as well as selected individual commuters, across the Indianapolis metropolitan area. 

“Electric utilities and their employees are a natural extension of our fleet strategy,” said THINK spokesperson Brendan Prebo. “By targeting electric utilities in the early deployment of EVs, we can help address several important challenges to the successful commercialization of these cars, such as establishing residual values for batteries, the cost of installing infrastructure and understanding the local impact of charging networks on the grid. Electric utilities are impacted by all of these issues, not only as customers, but also as fuel and service providers.”

The THINK City model is an all-electric, zero-emission car designed in Scandinavia for fleet applications and urban commuters. The THINK City can travel 100 miles on a single charge, according to the company, using Lithium-ion batteries manufactured in Indiana by Ener1, Inc. THINK said it plans to roll out retail distribution in select U.S. cities in the second half of 2011. 

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