11 October 2005

Electric Cars

A diarist at Daily Kos as the dope on all the latest developments in the electric vehicle industry.

Bottom line:

* Current technology has less range than conventional cars.
* Performance is fairly similar to conventional cars.
* Cost is greater than conventional cars, although production is currently small scale.
* The electricity costs for a recharge are much cheaper than the gasoline that would move you a similar distance.

Electric cars are not yet ready for prime time, but they are getting tantalizingly close. The question with electric cars is not whether they work, they do, but at what gasoline price they make sense. In the past, when I've looked at the issue, my estimate is that they start looking attractive at about $8 a gallon gasoline. Improved electric car technology nudges this down, improved car fuel efficiency nudges this up. With gasoline currently selling at close to $3 a gallon, the transition point is closer than it has ever been in the past.

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