Electric Cars Now

The electric car (EV) has been with us for over 100 years, but unfortunately it has been too little with us all that time. At one time there actually were more EVs on the road than cars powered by the internal combustion engine (ICE). The early EV was simpler, more reliable, quieter, cleaner, and easier to operate than the ICE car. Plus you didn’t have to get out and risk a broken arm from hand cranking it to start it.

Poor battery technology severely limited the driving range of the EV, and electricity for recharging was limited almost exclusively to cities. Gasoline was easier to come by than electricity in rural areas for many years and by the time the electric grid was expanded to rural America, ICE car manufacturers had improved reliability and added electric starters. All too quickly the EV lost the technology race and disappeared.

Now in 2009 there is no doubt that the EV is the best solution to the problems of air pollution, peak oil, and for stopping the outpouring of America’s wealth to OPEC. But there are problems that need to be solved before the EV replaces the ICE car.

The most compelling arguments for all of us to be driving EVs that I’ve heard are spelled out in a presentation by Shai Agassi and seen on ted.com.

Take the time to listen to the entire video:

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