Is the Electric Car Running Out of Juice?

Despite a number of factors conspiring to make electric cars more attractive than ever, John Broder believes the technology is experiencing a potential crisis.
March 27, 2012, 8am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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In an opinion piece for The New York Times, Broder outlines the storm of gloomy news swirling around electric cars:

"The state of the electric car is dismal, the victim of hyped expectations, technological flops, high costs and a hostile political climate. General Motors has temporarily suspended production of the plug-in electric Chevy Volt because of low sales. Nissan's all-electric Leaf is struggling in the market. A number of start-up electric vehicle and battery companies have folded."

While their slow roll-out is dismaying to some, others, such as Jon Bereisa, a former G.M. systems engineer who helped design the Volt, see it as a temporary bump on a long road to widespread adoption. "He says that the prospects for the electric car are much better today than they were then [when GM experimented with such vehicles in the mid-1990s], but technical development, cost reduction and consumer acceptance are going to take far longer than most people expect."

"The fate of the electric car remains hazy, with technical, economic and political forces working both for and against it," concludes Broder.

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Published on Saturday, March 24, 2012 in The New York Times
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