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
“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