Does the Think City add up?

6 March 2008

Think Ox conceptWe’re not sure if the new Think 5-seater, called Ox, is supposed to be pronounced ox, as in oxygen, or whether it’s supposed to be pronounced oh-ecks, as in O2, the oxygen molecule. Either way we think it probably makes more sense if you’re Norwegian. To us it sounds like a dumb name (as in dumb as an ox). Nice looking car though.

Meanwhile, we’ve been pondering the price of the Think City electric 2-door. The price is, well, pricey.

If it’s really going to cost £14,000 to buy plus £100 a month to lease the batteries, that’s going to add up to a lot of money - £20,000 into the pot after five years’ motoring, with who-knows-what in the way of residuals.

Let’s be generous and say the City will retain 60% of its purchase price after three years – the same proportion as a Toyota Prius. And let’s assume it will tend to clock up a low mileage in the region of 5,000 miles per year, which should cost about £50 a year in electricity.

A shiny new City will therefore cost about £5,600 in depreciation, £150 in electricity, and £3,600 in leasing, for a grand total of £9,350 or thereabouts for three years and 15,000 miles of electric motoring.

Over the same period a bought-from-new Prius will cost about £8,000 in depreciation, and about £1,300 in petrol, at current prices and with a real-world fuel economy of about 45mpg, over the same 15,000 miles. For a total of £9,300. Less if you drive with a light foot.

So the only benefit of choosing the Think over the Prius will be relatively small savings on insurance and servicing, plus the feeling that you are actually causing less pollution.

The benefit of choosing the Prius over the Think would be a larger, more flexible vehicle that can take you as far as you want to go and back again.

So it seems to us that the Think City – attractive as it may be – is not going to be what you’d call a rational purchase.


c glenn said...

99% of my driving is to and from work (14 miles), and short trips near home. I'd love to have a car that I could plug in for all that. The two times a year when I need to travel cross-country, I'll take a diesel VW Jetta (better MPG than a Prius, and far fewer fragile or expendable parts).

c glenn said...

Think needs to get rid of the "battery leasing" idea. It kills the entire idea of what would be good about these cars -- the low operating costs.

Anonymous said...

but in the up comign years gasoline will skyrocket and electricity will still be pretty cheap, and you havent accounted for all the maintenance work that has to be done to a gas engine that a electric car doesnt. remember, the prius is electric and gas, the Think is only electric, so half the maintenance right there, if any.

5aviour said...

This article infuriates me!

The point about an electric car is it reduces our oil dependency and provides no direct source emissions!

Also, we need to move away from the mindset of selling/changing our cars every 3-5 years...we need to use our vehicles (and any other thing) for alot longer otherwise we create frequent unncessary waste, and stimulate our need for 'more'.

Anyway, I reckon the future is in this technology:

Do the right thing instead of thinking about money...that is the reason this planet is in such a mess in the first place!

Leif said...

Check out this entertaining filmreview of the think city =)

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