Can Electric Cars Deliver?
The North American International Auto Show, which comes to a close today, has been a showcase for green cars and particularly electric vehicles. There has been no shortage of electric car concepts on display, but the question is - are the auto manufacturers any closer to resolving the key issues that prevent electric cars breaking into the mainstream?
Among them is the fact that petrol prices have plummeted from their summer 2008 highs and now make gas guzzling alternatives much more affordable. In addition, manufacturers face questions such as how far can the cars go on a single charge, how long will the recharging times take, how will the vehicle drivers be charged for the electricity they use and will there be a standardised shape for the connectors used to replenish the batteries?
According to David Champion, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, many of the electric cars on display will fail to live up to consumer’s expectations. He highlights that the range of the vehicles are often predicted based on low speed city driving - and that the cars will fail to deliver those ranges on the highway travelling at 70mph.
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