Battery Electric Cars Not Yet Practical for Mass Production

At best, the industry could sell about 50,000 all-electric or plug-in hybrid cars, projects this Cleveland Plain Dealer article.

Published: 19-Jan-2009

Look in any direction at Detroit's North American International Auto Show and you'll see a battery-powered car.
Ford Motor Co. is promising a model by next year. General Motors is showing off its Volt plug-in hybrid. Chrysler has the Dodge Circuit sports car. Startup companies Tesla and Fisker have their luxury vehicles on display. Even Myers Motors, a tiny company in Tallmadge that makes a one-passenger electric car, had vehicles on display.

With all the prototypes and concept cars, not to mention company commercials and claims made to Congress, you'd think that automakers plan to start mass-producing these vehicles soon. But for all the buzz, electrification is years away at best.

"The modern car is so good and so efficient for what we want it to do that it's going to take something monumental to get what we need out of a battery," said David Champion, director of Consumer Reports magazine's car-testing center.


The battery system was developed by CSIRO in Australia, built by the Furukawa Battery Company of Japan and tested in the United Kingdom through the American-based Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.

The new batteries will make the GM Hybrid System nearly three times more powerful than the system it replaces. Pictured is 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line with Two-mode hybrid drive.

Dramatic developments in stored-power technology make electric cars more viable than ever. Pictures is Th!nk Global's new Ox crossover vehicle.


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