Silicon Valley backed Th!ink Ox electric-car could arrive by 2011

While everyone is looking forward to the Chevrolet Volt, a Norwegian company backed by U.S. venture capital may offer a better alternative with better technology and a price tag less than the $40,000 you may have to cash out for the Volt.

Th!ink Global is working on taking over the U.S. with a gas-free city electric car based on its Th!ink OX concept that was unveiled at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. The Th!ink Ox, which is expected to hit the market by 2011, is roughly the size of the Prius and can travel between 125 to 155 miles before it needs to be charged. 0-60 comes in about 8.5 seconds and the lithium-ion batteries that power the car can reach 80% charge in less than a half our. Oh and very much like the next-generation Prius, solar panels on the roof power the electronics on-board.

What other cool things is Th!ink working on for its Ox? GPS navigation, mobile internet connection, a key fob that lets you customize the cars digital settings are just some of the things in the works. The best part? Pricing is expected to be below $30,000 – Th!ink’s current vehicle cost less than $25,000. Not to mention it looks better than the Volt and Prius.

RockPort Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers are the two Silicon Valley venture capital firms that are backing Th!ink in America. The invest firms have been known to back companies such as Google, General Electric and Amazon.

Wilber James, RockPort’s managing general partner and acting president of Th!ink North America, says Th!ink will be profitable in the U.S. if it can sell 10,000 vehicles a year. After it hits 20,000 to 30,000 units a year Th!ink can cut its costs in half.

Th!ink Ox Concept :

Thanks for the tip Andrew!

Source: BusinessWeek