The Question: Will Americans Buy Electric Cars?

Analysts question the rate of migration by American car buyers to electric drive.

Published: 15-Nov-2010

The biggest automotive revolution since horseless carriages first rumbled along rutted roads is about to take place -- and you'll have to strain to hear it.

That's because the first mainstream electric cars in nearly a century will be hitting the streets over the next couple of months, and their electric motors are as eerily quiet as they are tailpipe emission free.

Automakers such as Nissan and Chevrolet are touting the new vehicles in splashy ads, but already there are signs that wary mainstream consumers won't be quick to embrace the largely untested electric models. Automakers likely will have no trouble selling out their initial, limited production to electric enthusiasts and early adopters who have to have the latest thing, but mass acceptance that would lead to profitable production in big numbers remains a question.


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.

Arcimotor plans to sell the vehicle for under $20,000.

The all-electric prototype took two years and $100,000 to build and has range of 50 miles.

GoGO Electric founder Natalie Franklin

GoGo Electric's Natalie Franklin aims to persuade Londoners that hiring her firm's MegaCity electric cars is an affordable way to get travel inside the city's Congestion Charge Zone.


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