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PHOTO CAPTION: Magna International chief vehicle engineer Dick DeVogelaere with Project M electric car. Photo credit: EV World.Com.

Detroit Goes for Electric Cars, but Will Drivers?

Ford plans to make only 10,000 of the electric vehicles a year at first - very few by Detroit standards - to test the market cautiously. GM and Toyota are following a similar cautious approach.

Published: 15-Jan-2009

DEARBORN, Mich. — Inside the Ford Motor Company, it was called Project M — to build a prototype of a totally electric, battery-powered car in just six months.

When it was started last summer, the effort was considered a tall order by the small team of executives and engineers assigned to it. After all, the auto industry can take years to develop vehicles.

But Ford was feeling pressure from competitors, and decided it could not afford to fall behind in the rapidly expanding race to put electric cars in dealer showrooms.

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