Th!nk City won the Fleet News Special Vehicle Award 2001 and Ford is looking for businesses and organisations in central London to take part in the programme, with attractive rates in return for feedback on how the vehicles are used. Dr Wolfgang Schneider, Ford of Europe vice-president, said: 'We hope to work with central and local government, to take a look at infrastructure issues like provision of recharging points, subsidised parking and also what part these vehicles might play in emission controlled zones in urban areas.'
Ford created the Th!nk Group a year ago to develop a range of environmentally-sensitive personal mobility solutions. The two-seater Th!nk City car is silent and produces zero emissions, with acceleration from 0-30mph in less than seven seconds and a top speed of 56mph.
A spokesman added: 'We are still carrying out costings, but we can promise rates will be attractive. It's a pilot project which will be largely funded by us so we can gain valuable feedback on testing the Th!nk City in real-world situations over long periods. We want them to be run for a minimum of a year. It's similar to the project we ran a few years ago with the Ford Escort Ecostar van.'
The Energy Saving Trust has now agreed to extend its PowerShift grant from £1,000 to £3,000 per vehicle up to a total of 300 vehicles this year. This cuts the cost of the vehicles from £14,000 to £11,000.