Think hopes to boost sales through Indiana rebate

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Electric car maker Think hopes to kick-start sluggish sales through a rebate program available only to Indiana residents.

The Norwegian company, which assembles the cars in Elkhart, is launching retail sales with test drives offered 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Thursday through Saturday at Military Park in Indianapolis. The cars are being sold through Tom Wood Automotive Group's 96th Street location, Think spokesman Brendan Prebo said.

Think has been so slow to push cars out the door that earlier this year it asked battery supplier Ener1 to pause production until it works through its backlog. That contributed to some layoffs at Ener1's Indianapolis faciities in March.

The $9,000 Indiana rebate, plus a $7,500 federal tax credit, will reduce the cost of a Think to $19,995. The Indiana rebate is paid for with Department of Energy stimulus funds that flowed to the Energy Systems Network, which is trying to pave the way to more widespread electric-vehicle use through Project Plug-In.

Anyone who buys an electric car will need a charging station, which can cost $1,500 to $2,500, but Energy Systems Network will throw that in, too, CEO Paul Mitchell said. Buyers who live in the Indianapolis Power & Light or Duke Energy service areas can also qualify to have their fees covered for a standard installation.

Project Plug-In has helped Think place 100 vehicles to-date with corporate and governement fleets. There's enough DOE grant money to fund rebates and charging stations for 200 retail buyers, Prebo said. Think hopes to see all of those rebates put to use.

Think at one point said it could sell 2,500 cars this year. The company no longer makes sales forecasts, Prebo said. 


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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.