Electric vehicles are expensive and prohibitively so for most car buying consumers. Until prices drop low enough, sales will be limited to a few hundred units per month, perhaps even less for certain low demand models.
Incentives are helping to lower the price of some electric vehicles as the federal government offers a $7,500 tax credit. Others states offer discounts too and, in the case of the Think City, cars can be had for about half price when all other discounts are considered. Is there a catch? Yes, because if you don't live in certain geographic areas your cost will be far higher.
Think is "thinking" that its current promotion is an excellent deal, but on close inspection it simply isn't. Autoblog and other automotive enthusiast websites have caught on the "special deal" and have found out that consumers' final costs may not be so low after all.
Think City Price
The base price for the Think City is $35,495, which about $3,000 more than the Nissan LEAF, but $9,000 less than the Smart ForTwo EV. The Chevrolet Volt retails for $41,000 and other electric models cost significantly more. Still, the gas driven Ford Fiesta can be had for about less than half the cost of a Think City means you have to be an electric vehicle devotee to benefit from buying any EV.
The incentives offered by Think include the federal tax credit which immediately lowers the City to $27,995. If you live in Oregon, you can take a state credit of $7,000 which drops the price of your Think City to $20,995. The special Think is offering is a $4,000 ZEV discount which drops the price to $16,995 or $17,995 when the destination charge is factored in. You now have a car that is comparably priced with most small cars on the market, but one that doesn't consumer a single drop of gasoline. Visits to the gas pump are now history and the savings you'll realize will be immediate and accumulate year after year.
State Tax Credits
There is one catch with the Think City plan, however. And it is this: in states where tax credits are not offered, the ZEV discount disappears to. That means after the federal tax credit, which doesn't kick until you file your income taxes the following year, the cost of your Think City is $28,995. That's hardly a good buy and it represents an amount that will take years to justify, if ever.
Think's "inventory clearance sale" is available online where customers select a car based on the name assigned to it by the company. A cursory look at the website revealed that "Thelma" was available, featuring a black paint job. Like all Think models, you have to express your interest online by filling out a short survey. Think will then contact you, but be prepared to find that certain incentives may not be available to you, so think again.
Matthew C. Keegan is editor and publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine". Matt is also a contributing writer for Andy's Auto Sport and affiliated websites, an aftermarket supplier of quality auto parts including Mercury parts and cold air intakes.