June 25, 2008

Who Resurrected the Electric Car?

With gasoline prices climbing ever higher, private companies and government agencies are giving the electric car another look.

Even Republican presidential hopeful John McCain is getting in on the act, telling supporters this week he would offer a $300 million government prize to whoever invents a better battery for electric vehicles.

More timely are plans by the city of Paris for a 4,000-car fleet of electric vehicles to drive a new car-share program.

Modeled on a popular Parisian bicycle rental service, the new Autolib program is expected to launch early next year, according to the Web site Inhabitat.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times painted a glowing picture of the Think City, an electric car manufactured by a Norwegian company.

Unlike most electric cars to date, the compact City will reach highway speeds and meet both European and American collision standards.

Part of the reason for that is that the City was largely designed by Ford Motor Co., which put $150 million into Think before abruptly dumping the project in 2003.

Think went bankrupt three years later, but was resurrected by a group of Norwegian investors, according to the Los Angeles Times.

But lately, even the famously conservative automakers of Detroit are declaring their excitement about electric cars.

The Kansas City Star recently reported on General Motors’ big push for the plug-in gas-electric hybrid Volt, which is expected to go into production in 2010.

The Star quotes an article on GM’s Web site that tries to explain why the company abruptly discontinued its previous electric car, the EV1, in 1996: “When GM launched the EV1 gas was cheap, there wasn’t a war in Iraq, and there was less discussion about global warming … We didn’t kill the electric car; electric vehicle technology is far from dead.”

— Will Crain / Newsdesk.org

Sources:

“John McCain’s $300 million car battery”
Chicagotribune.com, June 23, 2008

“Electric Car Share Program for Paris”
Inhabitat.com, June 25, 2008

“The Think City: In Norway, they’re building your first electric car”
Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2008

“Fuel of the future looks more promising”
Kansas City Star, June 24, 2008

“Electric Car Roundup”
Earth2Tech.com, June 24, 2008

One thought on “Who Resurrected the Electric Car?

  1. Let’s look at the factual history of the modern electrical car, not the propaganda displayed in the most fictitous documentary ever made, “Who killed the Electrc Car” : Toyota, Honda and Gm all developed and offered EVs for sale or lease in 1996. Honda pulled theirs from the market later that year because of lack of public interest. GM and Toyota continued to offer their electrics for 6 YEARS, until 2002. Never were more than 800 of GM’s EV-1 electric cars under lease. I was there at the time and can tell you that no one wanted those crappy things. They cost a fortune, couldn’t take you anywhere, need one third of the day to recharge (8 hours), and, contrary to the claims of the film, were very sluggish during chilly weather. Why does the media lie thru their teeth and claim that only GM built (and killed) the modern electric car?
    The Toyot Rav4 electric is well known and was more popular and plentiful than the EV-1 – ED Begley , one of the stars of the film actually owned one. Why is he claiming that only GM built electrics? Why is he lying thru his teeth? Why is the media so ignorant about this? Just how stupid are they?