Auto Industry Sees Bright Future for Electric Vehicles

VOA report on recent EDTA conference in Washington, D.C. See EV World report.

Published: 10-Dec-2008

Major auto companies worldwide see electric cars in their future, and a lot of motorists are driving them today, mostly in the form of gas-electric hybrids.

The industry's U.S. trade group met in Washington recently to focus on some of the technical and policy challenges they face. And those challenges are numerous.

Gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles today store their fuel in a metal tank. Electric cars store theirs in a battery. Battery technology has been improving rapidly, but Nancy Gioia of Ford says it's still a major roadblock.


Powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries and two 67bhp (50kW) electric motors to drive the front and rear axles, the Mixim is a four-wheel-drive car with a theoretical top speed of 112mph and a potential maximum range of 156 miles.

Dodge ZEO is 2+2 electric muscle car for the 21st century powered by 200kW electric drive with 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds and range of 250 miles.

The Air Car may do better than fuel-cell cars, but experts say that using grid power to charge a battery-powered electric vehicle is much more efficient than using electricity to compress and store the same amount of energy in a tank.


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