Friday, July 3, 2009

Risking Green on Green -- A U.S Investor Puts His Money on a Norwegian Electric Car

"There's no reason why you can't help finance these products and these companies as well as do well financially and if that's the case, what's there not to love?" -- Mark Huang, investor in the Th!nk City electric car, and co-founder of Novus Energy Partners.

While green investors are doing well in wind and solar renewable-energy projects, selling an electric car to a mass market is a different endeavor entirely.

Even with incentives, the sticker price for the Th!nk car exceeds $30,000. But that is still far less than the Model S electric car built by California-based Tesla Motors, which starts at $49,900.

Of course, the owner of a Th!nk car won't have to worry about rising gasoline prices.

These new electric cars, unlike many of their failed predecessors, actually do go fast, and perform well in city traffic. The Th!nk car offers impressive handling, safety and comfort, though it lacks air conditioning.

This report is about Th!nk City auto investor Mark Huang and the debut of the Norwegian-made car on the Washington, D.C., lobby-cocktail circuit. One union representative expressed concern that the car is not being built in the United States. An environmentalist liked the car, but doubted her husband would want to buy it, since it doesn't sound like a race car.

Maintenance was not discussed with the test drivers, but Huang told me much like a cell phone or a computer, this car, which is 100% electric, will need upgrades and rebooting, rather than oil changes.

This report by Kurt Achin shows how South Korea seems to be moving faster than the United States toward an electric car future.