New Technology Bypassing Electric Cars

The electric car is wheezing its last breath. Fewer than 1,000 of them remain on the road in California, and automakers have turned their backs on the technology.

Published: 26-May-2005

StartFragment --> Nearly 15 years ago, electric cars were all the road rage with bureaucrats and environmentalists who thought the nonpolluting vehicles would eventually take over California's freeways.

But the growing popularity of hybrid cars and an upcoming state "Hydrogen Highway" proposal highlight how other cheaper, more convenient or politically expedient technologies have leapfrogged the vehicles powered by rechargeable batteries.

The electric car is wheezing its last breath. Fewer than 1,000 of them remain on the road in California, and automakers have turned their backs on the technology.

"The big problem with electric vehicles is that the automakers have thumped their heads on getting battery technology up to snuff," said James Bell, publisher of Campbell-based IntelliChoice, which tracks trends in the automotive industry. "They've never been able to solve the range and recharge problems to make electric cars competitive."

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