Electric Cars Ready to Make Move in '09

Electric-powered cars make up only 2 percent of the vehicles on U.S. roads.

Published: 31-Dec-2008

While the trials and tribulations of the Big Three automakers got most of the attention this year, electric cars may make news in 2009.

"All of the auto makers are working on electrical vehicles in some form," said Jennifer Watts, spokeswoman for Washington, D.C.-based Electric Drive Transportation Association.

There's plenty of room to grow, she said. While the sale of hybrid cars -- vehicles with both gas-powered and electric engines -- continues to increase each year, Watts said electric-powered cars make up only 2 percent of the vehicles on U.S. roads even though hybrid technology is over 10 years old.

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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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