The Tesla Roadster electric car

Who’s Resuscitating the Electric Car?

June 03, 2008 09:00 AM
by Liz Colville
An electric car in Britain is making headway in the fight against fuel. Will it take off, and is the electric car really good for the environment?

30-Second Summary

The Tesla sports car, a U.S.-made battery-operated car debuting on the U.K. market this year, is the latest in purely electric engine technology, a sector that comprises only 0.02 percent of the British auto market, according to The Guardian.

The Tesla, made by the California-based Tesla Motors, travels 225 miles before its battery needs to be recharged, and can reach 60 miles an hour in four seconds. Like the G-Wiz, another electric car released in the U.K. last year, the Tesla appeals to consumers with a bigger budget who want to invest in the next wave of auto technology.

But the electric car is still in its early days a decade after General Motors and others temporarily abandoned their models in the late 1990s. But as companies like Toyota and Honda achieve success with hybrids, American companies like General Motors and Ford are following suit—and returning to the electric car.

Because electric cars are still a rare sight on the road, it has been a challenge to record their energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions. But what is most appealing to drivers is being able to eschew gasoline in an era of sky-high fuel prices.

General Motors and many others are working on diesel-electric, gas-electric, and fully electric cars that will trickle onto the market before the end of the decade. These models hope to overcome the issues of first-generation electric cars, like inefficient batteries.

Headline Links: Battery-operated car poised to make a comeback

Background: Alternative fuels

Opinion & Analysis: The pros and cons of the electric car


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