INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mitch Daniels accepted delivery of 15 THINK City all-electric vehicles that will be used in Department of Natural Resources properties. The cars were shipped from THINK’s production facility in Elkhart and are the first U.S.-built, federally certified electric cars delivered to a fleet in the country.
“THINK found a great place to establish its business in Elkhart, and we’re proud to be the first customer,” said the governor, who was at Fort Harrison State Park for the delivery with THINK CEO Barry Engle. “We believe that the coming era of electric cars, like THINK, will find its home here.”
Energy Systems Network used a combination of federal stimulus funds and private donations to purchase the vehicles, then donated the vehicles to the state at no cost.
The vehicles will be used at Brown County, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, McCormick’s Creek, Shakamak, Spring Mill and Versailles State Parks; Brookville Reservoir/Whitewater State Park complex; Lake Monroe; Glendale Fish & Wildlife Area; and Greene-Sullivan State Forest.
The THINK City is an all-electric, zero emission vehicle designed for fleet and urban commuters. It is safety certified for highway driving in the United States and has a range of 100 miles with its advance lithium-ion battery that is assembled in Indianapolis by Ener1.
“We’re looking at the THINK City as a multi-purpose vehicle with any number of practical uses,” DNR director Robert E. Carter Jr. said. “In the daytime, it can be used for trips into town to purchase supplies or pick up mail from the post office. In the evening, it can provide security staff quiet transportation to patrol camping areas.”
Dan Bortner, director of the DNR Division of State Parks and Reservoirs, said: “It’s only natural that we broaden our existing environmental commitment by partnering with green technology. These vehicles are a wonderful way to accelerate our movement in that direction.”
Indiana Department of Administration director Rob Wynkoop, whose agency maintains the state vehicle fleet, said: “While adding cars to the fleet is counter to our continuing efforts to reduce fleet vehicles statewide, we saw this specific green initiative as an opportunity to test alternative energy vehicles in real-life situations. After discussing the opportunity with ESN and with Rob Carter, it seemed that DNR properties provide the best locations to test these vehicles.”