Will the Electric Car Ever Make It to the Mass Market?

The industry is of the conviction that a market will develop in the 2020-2030 time frame.

Published: 16-Sep-2009

Germany's automakers are proudly showing off their concept electric cars at the Frankfurt motor show, which opens to the public Thursday. But the shiny new designs on display are just a pipe dream. It's still not clear when, or even if, viable electric cars will make it onto the mass market.

Amid widespread concerns about global warming, it's practically official policy at the European Commission these days to see electricity consumption as a sin. The bureaucrats in Brussels have recently gone so far as to ban the production of 100-watt incandescent light bulbs.

So far, however, there have been no limits set on a much bigger consumer of electricity -- the automobile. When the 63rd International Motor Show (IAA) opens to the public this Thursday in Frankfurt, visitors can check out designs for electric cars whose power rating will exceed that of the banned bulb by a factor of many thousands.


TREV two-place electric car

Student-built vehicle can do 0-60 in 10 seconds with top speed of 75 mph. Photo courtesy of University of South Australia.

smart electric car being recharged in Berlin

Aggressive driving and air conditioning could cut range of plug-in hybrids and electric cars in half, says Argonne researcher. Pictured is electric version of smart being 'charged' in this publicity photo at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.

Jamie Lee Curtis takes delivery of second FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle in USA.

Honda is focusing on affordable gasoline-electric hybrids and fuel cell technology. Pictured is actress/author Jamie Lee Curtis, the second USA customer to lease the FCX Clarity fuel cell sedan. Photo credit:Alex Berliner Berliner Studio/BEImages


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