The first two TH!NK electric vehicles sold in the UK have been handed over to advertising giant Ogilvy and Mather, while Southampton City Council has taken delivery of the first demonstrator.
'This is an excellent way for Ogilvy and Mather to demonstrate how businesses can lessen some of the noise and pollution associated with urban environments,' said European chairman Mike Walsh, who received the keys to the cars from Ford of Britain chairman and managing director Ian McAllister.
The TH!NK City has a range of up to 53 miles and can be recharged by plugging into a standard socket. A normal charge takes four-six hours, with Ford calculating that a full 'tank' costs less than 40p if the vehicle is recharged overnight. Official sales of TH!NK city in the UK are not expected to start before 2002. However, to explore their potential, special programmes are being implemented.
Southampton City Council is to run its TH!NK on environmentally-friendly electricity generated by the city's geo-thermal station, which works by converting the heat of the earth into electricity.
Ford of Britain director of fleet sales, Mike Wear ,handed over the vehicle's keys to the council's executive member for environment and transportation councillor Richard Williams. The demonstrator will be used to ferry council officers to appointments around the city.
He said: 'The noise and emission-free electric vehicles will allow the council to reduce the impact transportation has on the environment, demonstrating how we can reduce pollution, both in Southampton and in the environment generally.'
Wear said: 'With many local authorities looking to implement green transport plans, the TH!NK City car provides an environmentally-friendly transport solution.'