In another sign of the struggling automotive industry, Ford has abandoned a $123 million electric car venture known as Think. The company said it would instead invest in other alternative technologies, such as hybrid-electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells. Ford is cutting the initiative despite a California mandate that auto manufacturers offer up to 100,000 low-emissions vehicles per year beginning with the 2003 model year. A company spokesperson said Ford cut the program due to lack of customer interest in the electric vehicles, which are limited both in size and in the distance they can travel before needing to recharge. Both of the Think models (a two-seater hatchback and a golf-cart-like vehicle with some car features) fell far short of company sales expectations. Ford says it will meet the California requirement by selling hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles, although it does not currently sell either.
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