Kleiner Perkins and RockPort Capital, Two Leading U.S. Cleantech Investors, Launch Joint Venture with Norwegian Electrical Vehicle Company Think
OSLO, Norway & PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Norwegian electric car producer Think has reached across the Atlantic and established TH!NK North America in partnership with the leading clean-tech investors RockPort Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers.
“The transportation industry is undergoing its largest transformation since Henry Ford built the Model T. Today we are witnessing a seminal event – the first highway-capable electric vehicle intended for mass production, representing a big step toward a zero emission transportation industry.”
“The TH!NK city is the world’s only crash-tested and highway-certified electric vehicle and is ideal for markets such as California where we will initiate demonstration projects offering an exceptionally safe and fun car to drive,” said Jan-Olaf Willums, CEO of Think Global. “We are proud to partner with the two pioneering investors in the clean tech field and to launch TH!NK city in North America with them.”
The new venture was announced at the 2008 FORTUNE Brainstorm Green Conference held in Pasadena, California, that brought chief executives from all over North America together to talk about the business opportunities of “going green.”
Ray Lane, a Kleiner Perkins Managing Partner and Chairman of TH!NK North America, said, “The transportation industry is undergoing its largest transformation since Henry Ford built the Model T. Today we are witnessing a seminal event – the first highway-capable electric vehicle intended for mass production, representing a big step toward a zero emission transportation industry.”
“We believe there is a dramatic shift underway of how people think about mobility. Global consumer demand is forcing the industry to come up with sustainable solutions, including the development of zero emission vehicles,” said Wilber James, a Managing General Partner of RockPort Capital Partners and acting President of TH!NK North America.
TH!NK city is an environmental vehicle that is emission free and 95 percent recyclable. It reaches a top speed of 100 km (65 miles) per hour and can drive up to 180 km (110 miles) on a single charge. TH!NK city meets all European and U.S. federal motor vehicle safety requirements.
At the Geneva Motorshow earlier this year, Think announced a strategic partnership with energy giant General Electric, also an investor in Think. At the show, Think unveiled its future car, the TH!NK Ox, the first 4/5-seater fully-electric vehicle which is slated to begin production in 2010/11.
Think has also established partnerships in the U.S. with battery suppliers A123 and EnerDel.
The TH!NK city is currently produced in Norway and international sales are scheduled to begin in Scandinavia, with Switzerland and France also being the initial focus areas. Sales, other than initial trial and demonstration projects, will begin in the North American market in 2009.
Vicki Northrup, an electric car veteran, has been retained by TH!NK North America as Operations Manager and will initially be based out of TH!NK North America’s Menlo Park office.
About Think Global
Think designs, develops, manufactures and markets environmentally friendly vehicles and technologies. The company has more than 17 years of experience in developing and producing electric vehicles and there are about 1,200 vehicles driving on Norwegian roads today. The latest TH!NK city is the fifth-generation electric vehicle that has been produced in Norway. Series production of the newly designed TH!NK city car started late last year and the first cars will be delivered to Norwegian customers. The capacity of its first assembly plant in Aurskog, outside Oslo, is presently being increased to 10,000 cars per year. Think expects to be producing at full capacity sometime during 2009. Enthusiastic owners with the vision and resources want to make Think the “car company of the 21st century.” For more information, visit www.think.no.
About Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers
Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers (http://www.kpcb.com) is leading the venture community to invest in and accelerate Green technology solutions and policy innovations. The firm has been active in Greentech initiatives since 1999. KPCB has committed more than $200 million to ventures across the globe that offer green technology products and services, such as better biofuels, renewable energy generation, cleaner transportation, improved energy storage, and higher energy efficiency technologies. More than half the firm’s investing professionals are involved in Greentech investments.
Since its founding in 1972, KPCB has backed entrepreneurs in over 475 ventures, including AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq Computer, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Lotus, Sun Microsystems and Symantec. More than 150 of the firm's portfolio companies have gone public. The firm has offices in Menlo Park, California, Beijing, China and Shanghai, China.
About RockPort Capital
RockPort Capital Partners, founded in 2000, is one of the pioneering Cleantech/Greentech VC funds and focuses exclusively on the Energy and Power, Advanced Materials and Process and Prevention technology sectors. With offices in Boston, MA and Menlo Park, CA, RockPort has invested, to date, over $300M in more than 40 portfolio companies with breakthrough technologies that deliver significant economic value to large potential markets. For more information, visit: http://www.rockportcap.com.
Brand guidelines: TH!NK city (the vehicle), Think Global (the Norwegian-based company), TH!NK North America (the U.S.-based company)