Electric Cars Charging Ahead

Palo Alto, home of Better Place and other nearby electric car ventures, including Tesla are sparking interest in the technology locally and worldwide,write Gennady Sheyner.

Published: 23-Jun-2009

The Tesla engines purr like muffled Xerox machines in a spotless garage inside the company's flagship dealership on El Camino Real in Menlo Park.

Aside from the rows of glossy roadsters, the small crew of short-sleeved mechanics and the classic rock tunes drowning out the soft hum of the battery coolant, the place has about as much in common with a traditional dealership as its much-hyped roadster has with a Hummer.

The gray floor is conspicuously greaseless -- a small but palpable benefit of dealing with oil-less cars. The plush waiting room is separated from the garage by a glass partition, for easy viewing. And the company's newest offering -- the Model S sedan, due for a 2011 release -- looks more ordinary and traditional than the futuristic sports cars currently scattered around the lot.

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