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PHOTO CAPTION: Cape Town-based Optimal Energy developed the six-place, all-electric Joule.

The Road Beyond Oil Is Electric-Powered

2010 has been set as the target date for many electric vehicles to enter large-scale production worldwide.

Published: 13-Dec-2008

The days of coughing up R500 at the filling station before queueing off to work in your double-cab pick-up may be numbered. Instead, you may find yourself kissing the kids good-bye, unplugging the car from the wall socket, and winding your way to the office in a nimble two-seater.

Across the US, Europe and Asia, vehicle manufacturers are anticipating the protracted demise of the internal combustion engine, all because of the volatile oil price, and the dirty habits of engines using petrol and diesel, especially as the green agenda gains prominence.

It’s closer than one may imagine: 2010 has been set as the target date for many electric vehicles to enter large-scale production worldwide.

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Ray Lane, managing partner of venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins, Caufield and Byers, which has invested in Think, believes Think could eventually sell as many as 30,000 to 50,000 City cars a year.

The production electric vehicle to be introduced in 2010 will have a unique bodystyle and is not based on any existing Nissan model, unlike the technology 'mule' pictured above.

The 100-mile range electric car has been operating with Japanese power companies for the last two years.

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