[ Ford has introduced a whole new line of Th!nk products: a fuel cell Th!nk, Bicycle Th!nks, a Th!nk NEV, all described below. "We're selling them faster than we can build them," says Per A. Lilleng, president of TH!NK Nordic AS. Remy C. ET Ed. ]Ford debuts new TH!NK group:
World's first full line environmental mobility brand
Jacques A. Nasser,
President and CEO,
Ford Motor Company,
with the Th!nk City car
at the North American
International Auto Show.
Contact: Glenn Ray, 313-248-5994
DETROIT, Jan. 10, 2000 – Ford Motor Company today unveiled a new brand, TH!NK Group, an all-new organization that will provide innovative solutions for environmentally responsible personal mobility. Ford is the only automaker to dedicate an independent brand to a full line of environmentally responsible products, to include battery and fuel cell electric technology.
On hand at the North American International Auto Show to unveil TH!NK to an international audience of journalists were William Clay Ford Jr., Ford Motor Company chairman, and Jac Nasser, Ford Motor Company president and chief executive officer.
"TH!NK is the organization that will provide us ingenious mobility solutions for the new millennium. It is further proof of the company’s commitment to connecting with the customer," said Nasser.
"Since its inception, our company has been a leader in automotive technology and innovation. That same innovative spirit drives us today and the new generation of TH!NK vehicles is proof that personal mobility and environmental responsibility can coexist," he added.
TH!NK Group is comprised of two organizations – TH!NK Technologies and TH!NK Mobility. TH!NK Mobility, LLC, is a limited liability corporation which is wholly owned by Ford Motor Company.
TH!NK Mobility will include an internet-based, e-commerce enterprise (www.thinkmobility.com) for ordering and optional direct-to-customer delivery for its TH!NK neighbor personal mobility low speed vehicle and TH!NK bike fun and TH!NK bike traveler electric bicycles. The TH!NK neighbor and TH!NK bikes will also be available through retail outlets, including participating Ford dealers.
TH!NK Mobility, LLC, is made up of a line of battery electric vehicles:TH!NK city– This innovative battery electric urban car is currently available for sale or lease in Norway. It will be available throughout the rest of Scandinavia starting later this year. This innovative two-seat vehicle has a body constructed of recyclable thermoplastic and an approximate driving range of 55 miles before requiring recharging. When the redesigned TH!NK city becomes available in the U.S., certified Ford Ranger EV dealers will be the only choice for TH!NK city sales, service and delivery.
TH!NK neighbor – An electric personal mobility low speed vehicle designed for commuting around closed communities, industrial sites, resorts, golf courses and private roads. It will be available later this year in a two or four seat configuration. TH!NK neighbor will meet the new U.S. government FMVSS500 requirements for low speed vehicles, and can be easily modified to suit individual preferences with a number of options. TH!NK neighbor will be available for order online at www.thinkmobility.com, with deliveries scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2000.
TH!NK neighbor can also be available at retail outlets, including participating Ford dealers.
– Two electric bicycles that provide motorized assistance when the customer desires two-wheeled transportation with added power. TH!NK bike fun (fixed frame) and THINK bike traveler (folding frame) will be available for order at www.thinkmobility.com, with deliveries beginning this summer.
TH!NK bike fun and TH!NK bike traveler
The TH!NK bikes can also be available through retail outlets, including participating Ford dealers.
TH!NK TECHNOLOGIES – "POWERED BY TH!NK"
TH!NK Technologies is responsible for developing and commercializing Ford’s efforts in fuel cell power. Electric fuel cell technology currently provides the most promising future alternative to the internal combustion engine. The TH!NK FC5 (Fuel Cell, 5th generation), based on a four door 2000 Ford Focus and unveiled today in Detroit, is a family size sedan powered by the latest generation methanol reformer fuel cell.
"TH!NK Group provides innovative, environmentally friendly solutions for personal mobility," said Nasser. "With world class engineering and a constant focus on, and rapid response to, customer preferences, TH!NK is dedicated to leading edge, environmentally responsible mobility solutions, such as fuel cells, across a wide range of vehicles," added Nasser.
TH!NK is an enterprise of Ford Motor Company, led by John Wallace, executive director of TH!NK Group. "TH!NK is where ‘ecology meets economy.’ This organization will create new ways of doing business and new products that provide fun, innovative and ecologically responsible personal mobility for our customers," said Wallace.
"Today, we have the TH!NK neighbor personal mobility low speed vehicle, TH!NK bike fun and TH!NK bike traveler and the TH!NK city electric car – each offering a unique transportation solution. And, on the not-too-distant horizon, we’ll have on the road commercially viable fuel cell vehicles ‘Powered by TH!NK’," Wallace noted.
Through its TH!NK enterprise, Ford Motor Company participates in a number of partnerships dedicated to finding next-generation solutions for personal transportation. Among them:
|Jacques Nasser, Ford
puts finishing touches to a Th!nk
as it rolls off the assembly line
in Aurskog, while King Harald V,
holding flowers, cheers him on.
Contacts: Kristi Hegna Eggen,TH!NK Nordic AS, 47 63 85 45 00
Jennifer Flake, Ford Motor Company, 49 221 901 8781
Norway’s first mass-produced vehicle has a new name as the TH!NK city starts rolling, almost silently, through the streets of its homeland.
TH!NK city is the new nameplate for the battery-powered electric vehicle that has been specially created for fleet and individual customers looking for urban transportation solutions.
"TH!NK city is compact, easy to maneuver, and it fits well into tight parking spaces and congested roads alike – without producing any emissions," said Per A. Lilleng, president of TH!NK Nordic AS. "This is an ideal city car – and we want to make sure people start thinking about that as soon as they hear the name," he added.
Pre-production versions of the car had been called TH!NK, an offshoot from its manufacturer TH!NK Nordic AS, which is an enterprise of Ford Motor Company. The company began producing retail units in November 1999 at its factory approximately 60 kilometers outside of Oslo.
TH!NK city production also is good news for consumers, added Jac Nasser, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company.
"TH!NK city provides a fresh approach to personal mobility," he said. "Fleet customers and individuals alike now have another personal transportation alternative for urban driving – one they can feel good about."
TH!NK city is a purpose-built two-seater, powered by a liquid-cooled three-phase alternating current-induction motor. This zero-emissions city runabout boasts a 0 to 50 kph time of 7 seconds and a top speed of 90 kph.
The motor is powered by nineteen nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries, which also are water-cooled for maximum performance, generating roughly 11.5 kilowatt hours of energy.
The range of TH!NK city tops out at 85 kilometers on the European Commission dynamometer cycle, which is the industry standard. As is the case with all battery electric vehicles, real-world range for this 114-volt battery is affected by different factors, including weather conditions and driving conditions.
For easy recharging, TH!NK city uses a conductive charging system. Customers can plug directly into any standard 220-volt/16 amp or 10 amp outlet and recharge the car through an easily accessible outlet just under the windscreen. It takes approximately eight hours to fully charge a drained battery and five hours to attain an 80 percent charge at 220 volts.
To date, response to TH!NK city has been positive. "We're selling them faster than we can build them," Lilleng said.
A U.S. version of TH!NK city is currently under development and will be available within the next two years. When it comes to the U.S., it will be sold and serviced only through certified Ford dealers who handle the Ford Ranger EV.
Contact: Glenn Ray, 313-248-5994
DETROIT, Jan. 10, 2000 - TH!NK, an enterprise of Ford Motor Company, today unveiled a family size sedan powered by the latest generation methanol reformer fuel cell electric powertrain.
Based on the 2000 Ford Focus, the TH!NK FC5 (Fuel Cell - 5th generation) offers a realistic vision of what a four-door family sedan could be in the near future. With electric power from the latest generation fuel cell technology, this engineering prototype will deliver exceptional fuel efficiency and ultra low emissions, while providing similar range, top speed and performance to today's gasoline models.
"Ford is a world leader in the development of fuel cell technology and the FC5 is built around the most advanced fuel cell installation yet developed," said John Wallace, executive director of TH!NK Group.
"By locating most of the fuel cell installation beneath the vehicle floor, our engineers have given the design team the freedom to create space for a family-size vehicle," Wallace added.
Fuel Cell Technology: Driving the Future Currently, fuel cells offer the most promising solution for next generation family vehicles. Fuel cells generate electricity by electrochemically combining oxygen with hydrogen. The process is efficient, silent and without combustion. In the TH!NK FC5, the hydrogen is extracted from methanol, which is readily available, easily stored and handled and produces very low emissions. Utilizing methanol, the fuel cell system reduces emissions dramatically compared to a conventional gasoline vehicle. Moreover, there are virtually no carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides or particulates, which are major contributors to urban smog.
Methanol is also a highly practical source of hydrogen. It is comparable in cost to gasoline and diesel, though Ford Motor Company's objective is to make fuel cell powertrains 50 percent more efficient than either of those fuels.
In addition, methanol is liquid under normal conditions, so refueling is identical to filling up with gasoline. Adding methanol capacity to existing fuel stations is relatively simple. Therefore, the necessary infrastructure could be developed swiftly and economically.
Finally, while methanol is most commonly derived from natural gas, it can also be produced from plant material such as seaweed, wood pulp and organic waste (known as biomass sources). These biomass sources are renewable resources, which would help preserve earth's finite fossil fuel stocks.
TH!NK FC5 Utilitizes Methanol Reformer On the FC5, the methanol is stored in an onboard tank. From there, the fuel passes through a 'reformer', which extracts the pure hydrogen required to react with oxygen.
The hydrogen, as the gaseous fuel, and oxygen, supplied in the form of compressed air, flow separately into the latest generation compact fuel cell stack, manufactured by Ballard Power Systems of Vancouver, Canada. The stack comprises several hundred individual fuel cells, in which the hydrogen and oxygen are combined, producing electricity, heat and water.
Each cell generates about one volt. The direct current (DC) from the fuel cells is then converted into alternating current (AC), powering the electric motor.
"We are convinced that fuel cells have tremendous potential as a vehicle power source for the 21st century, helping protect the environment without compromising personal mobility," Wallace said.
"But there are still some significant technical challenges," he continued. "Current fuel cell systems are heavy, bulky and expensive, although we've made significant progress in reducing their size. The TH!NK FC5 represents another major step forward. Cost is the other major problem, but as economies of scale come into play, the cost will come down to affordable levels - as we've seen with major consumer products from the Ford Model T to the personal computer," Wallace added.
The TH!NK FC5 has been designed to maximize interior space and ergonomics. Driver and passenger comfort are not compromised in order to accommodate the fuel cell system and there is usable rear storage.
TH!NK - Driving the Future TH!NK Technologies is the team within the TH!NK Group assigned the responsibility for leading Ford's fuel cell research and development.
In addition to the FC5, TH!NK already has a road-going hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) under intensive evaluation with the Mondeo-based P2000 vehicle.
Unlike the FC5, the P2000's fuel is pure gaseous hydrogen. The vehicle produces only electricity and pure water and there is no need for the added fuel reforming process. However, there are major barriers to developing a hydrogen fueling infrastructure, so methanol-based vehicles like the TH!NK FC5 look much more viable in the immediate future. Ford Motor Company plans to begin low volume commercial production of fuel cell electric vehicles by 2004.
Ford is among the leaders of the first long-term, real-world testing program for fuel cell-powered passenger cars in California. Partners in the project include Ballard Power Systems, DaimlerChrysler AG, Honda, Volkswagen, ARCO, Shell, Texaco, the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission.
The California Fuel Cell partnership will test the technology and market readiness for fuel cell vehicles, along with researching infrastructure issues, by placing about 45 fuel cell-powered cars and buses on California roads over the next several years.
TH!NK Group, an enterprise of Ford Motor Company, is comprised of TH!NK Mobility (battery electric vehicles) and TH!NK Technologies (fuel cell electric vehicles), and provides innovative environmentally responsible solutions for personal mobility.
DETROIT, Jan. 10, 2000 – Ford Motor Company’s newest nameplate, TH!NK, today rolled out its line-up of zero emission products, including its TH!NK neighbor – a compact two or four seat personal mobility low speed vehicle that can be ordered on www.thinkmobility.com and delivered right to the customer’s door.
TH!NK neighbor is a battery powered vehicle, capable of speeds up to 25 miles per hour, designed for commuting within closed communities, resorts or work environments. The TH!NK neighbor also gives customers the flexibility to personalize their vehicle with choices from a list of options.
"TH!NK neighbor is the perfect choice for customers who need mobility within a relatively small, closed geographic area, like a gated community or commercial complex," said Rob Stevens, president of TH!NK Mobility, LLC. "In addition, TH!NK neighbor provides the added bonus of being an environmentally friendly zero emissions vehicle," he added.
TH!NK neighbor is constructed of an extruded aluminum space frame with thermoplastic body panels. The panels are modular and easily molded into a variety of colors. The interior is weather resistant and designed for ergonomic simplicity, function and on-board stowage.
TH!NK neighbor is powered by six lead acid batteries (72 volts total power) driving a 5000 watt DC motor with 65 ft-lb peak torque @ 1500 RPM
Range is approximately 30 miles, with recharging requiring 4-8 hours from a standard 110 volt system. Regenerative braking provides onboard charging to the batteries during stop-and-go driving.
TH!NK neighbor will come equipped with a two speed selector for private road and golf course applications. The "high" speed setting will be limited to 25 mph. The "low" speed setting will be limited to 15 mph.
TH!NK neighbor will meet the new U.S. government FMVSS500 requirements for low speed vehicles, and is designed with a number of safety features, including three-point restraints at all seating positions, AS-1 glazed safety glass windshield and 3 mph bumpers.
Customers can order TH!NK neighbor order on line at www.thinkmobility.com with factory-to-door delivery available. Or, customers can choose to deal directly with a preferred retail outlet, including participating Ford dealers.
Job #1, with deliveries immediately following, is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.
Final manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) has yet to be determined, but prices are expected to be about $6,000 (Note: Prices are only approximate, and will be finalized closer to the TH!NK neighbor’s on-sale date).
In addition to TH!NK neighbor, the TH!NK Mobility portfolio of zero emission vehicles also includes TH!NK bike fun (standard frame) and TH!NK bike traveler (folding frame) electric bicycles and the two seat TH!NK city battery electric car produced in Norway. TH!NK Mobility, LLC, is a limited liability corporation wholly owned by Ford Motor Company. TH!NK Group, an enterprise of Ford Motor Company, is comprised of TH!NK Mobility (battery electric vehicles) and TH!NK Technologies (fuel cell vehicles), and provides innovative environmentally friendly solutions for personal mobility.
Contact: Glenn Ray, 313-248-5994
DETROIT, Jan. 10, 2000 – Fun, freewheeling transportation is just a flick of the wrist away with two new electric bikes from TH!NK Mobility, an enterprise of Ford Motor Company.
TH!NK bike fun and TH!NK bike traveler are electric bicycles that combine the exercise and mobility offered by a standard bicycle with the option of power-assisted commuting at the flick of a switch.
TH!NK bike fun has a rigid frame, while TH!NK bike traveler has a compact, foldable frame featuring a simple, three-step folding procedure, making it easy to store and transport. Both models will be available in June.
"Our TH!NK electric bikes are a simple solution for people who need the agility and freedom offered by a traditional bicycle, but who would also like the option of letting an electric motor do some of the work for them," said Rob Stevens, president of TH!NK Mobility, LLC.
"They are ideal products for students, short-distance commuters, retirees, vacationers – anyone who wants to have the fun and convenience of a bicycle with the added freedom of electric-assisted power," Stevens added.
TH!NK bike fun and TH!NK bike traveler riders can use their own leg power, or with the flick of a switch on the right handle bar and a twist of the rheostat throttle in the grip, motor down the road assisted by a powerful electric motor.
Power to the 24-volt, 400-watt motor for the TH!NK bike fun and the 24-volt, 250-watt motor for the TH!NK bike traveler is provided by an easy-to-remove, lead acid battery pack stored under the seat. Charging is quick and easy, requiring only up to four hours from a standard home outlet. A portable direct-current charger is also available for recharging from a primary vehicle or other 12-volt power source. This charging method takes about eight hours for a fully discharged battery.
The standard drive system is a single-speed, direct-link transmission located in the crankshaft area. An optional two-speed unit is available for greater flexibility and efficiency. Range before recharging is about 30 miles for TH!NK bike fun and about 18 to 20 miles for TH!NK bike traveler. Top speed is 16 miles per hour (20 km/hour).
TH!NK bikes fun and traveler will be available at www.thinkmobility.com for direct delivery to the customer. TH!NK bikes will also be sold and serviced through a network of authorized retail outlets, including Ford dealerships. The suggested retail price for TH!NK bike fun is approximately $1,000.
For TH!NK bike traveler the suggested retail price is approximately $1,200. The bike(s) will be delivered directly to the customer’s address of choice when they become available this June.
TH!NK bike Concept
Also displayed for the first time at the 2000 North American International Auto Show was the TH!NK bike Concept, a design exercise that explores new ideas in design, construction and materials. It is built with lightweight metal alloys and composite materials that are strong, yet durable. TH!NK bike Concept stretches the envelope of possibilities, and provides a vision of bicycle design for the future.
TH!NK Group: Environmentally Responsible Solutions
In addition to its electric bicycles, the TH!NK Mobility portfolio of zero-emission vehicles also includes TH!NK neighbor, a two or four seat, battery-powered personal mobility low speed vehicle, and TH!NK city, a two-seat electric urban car. TH!NK Mobility, LLC, is a limited liability corporation that is wholly owned by Ford Motor Company.
TH!NK Group, an enterprise of Ford Motor Company, is comprised of TH!NK Mobility (battery electric vehicles) and TH!NK Technologies (fuel cell electric vehicles) and is dedicated to developing and marketing environmentally friendly solutions for personal mobility.