PHOTO CAPTION: GM battery technician brings out first Volt production battery.

Jeff Rubin: A Dim View of Electric Cars

The author of 'Why Your World Is About to Get A Whole Lot Smaller' doesn't believe electric cars and their batteries are ready for prime time.

Published: 29-Jan-2010

Will technology leapfrog depletion and save drivers from the cost of triple-digit oil? Every auto producer in the world has an electric car in the works; General Motors, of course, will start producing its Volt later this year. But in actuality, the car of the future is really a throwback to the past.

In 1899, an electric car was clocked going over 60 miles an hour. And a little over a decade later, a Detroit Electric managed to travel 211 miles on a single charge (by comparison, General Motors’ Volt will go just 40 miles on a single charge before its back-up gasoline engine kicks in.)

In an ironic twist of fate, it was the invention of the electric starter that all but killed the electric car, since you no longer needed the physique of a weightlifter to crank-start your internal combustion engine.


Camille Jenatzy was first to break 100km/hr speed barrier in his 1899 electric car, La Jamais Contente.

Former Pirelli Tire North America CEO addresses local Rotary Club.

Roadster #750 completes road trip to Detroit despite winter driving conditions and heavy snow.

Telsa will donate the full value of production car VIN 1,000 to charities.

Subaru R1e negotiating the streets of Manhattan Island, New York City.

The range limitations of most early electric cars will matter less in tightly packed urban areas, where the daily driving distance is likely to be much shorter than in the suburbs or rural areas.


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