December 22, 1986 |
An astute businessman can sometimes profit from costly mistakes - take the case of Frank Flowers. The South Jersey businessman considers his disastrous attempt to manufacture and sell electric automobiles in the 1970s "a $3 million education. " Evidence of that mistake can be found in 150 leftover cars made to sell for $9,000 each, which he will gladly mark down to $1,500. Evidence that his expensive education is paying off can be found in Flowers' $1.5 million Gloucester County plant, which turns out 1,000 electric-powered scooters each month for the disabled and elderly.
April 13, 1989 |
Guy L. Davis has a grim prediction for the future of the gasoline-powered automobile: Its days are numbered. "Los Angeles and other major cities cannot meet pollution standards," he said. "We're losing the battle. Something has to be done. " Davis also foresees the world running out of fossil fuels. That one-two punch, he said, will lead to the demise of the automobile as we know it. And Davis has concluded there is only one way to solve the problem - go electric. "Electric cars are the future," the 54-year-old East Norriton resident said.
February 15, 2013
By Charles Lane The Obama administration's electric-car fantasy finally may have died on the road between Newark, Del., and Milford, Conn. The New York Times' John M. Broder reported Friday that the Tesla Model S electric car he was test-driving repeatedly ran out of juice, partly because cold weather reduces the battery's range by about 10 percent. Broder's trip included a stretch with the conked-out car riding the back of a flatbed truck. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk tweeted on Monday that Broder's report is a "fake" and that "vehicle logs" show he "didn't actually charge to max & took a long detour.
July 21, 2006 |
A documentary as efficient and zippy as its subject, Who Killed the Electric Car? implicates Big Auto and Big Oil for murdering the commercial prospects of the late, lamented EV-1, which resembled, and even may have actually inspired, Lightning McQueen in Cars. Touted by General Motors as "the automobile of the 21st century," the battery-powered EV-1 literally was consigned to the scrap heap of the late 20th. According to Chris Paine's film, a companion piece to An Inconvenient Truth, 'twas a confederacy of technocrats and bureaucrats that ran this baby off the road.
May 13, 1990 |
Isuzu's recent announcement that it had developed a "revolutionary" kind of electric storage device sounded like the breakthrough needed to make the electric car feasible - and thus populate our roads with non-polluting vehicles. The chief impediments to the practical use of electric cars have been the weight and cost of conventional lead-acid storage batteries and the time it takes to recharge them. The weight of the batteries slows the car and diminishes its range. The several hours required to recharge them further reduce the electric car's practicality, and the cost of their periodic replacement makes an electric vehicle more expensive to operate than a gas-powered one, even though its refueling costs are lower.
June 12, 2011 |
Certainly, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt is a technical tour de force. But it is more than an exquisitely engineered electric car. It is a brand-new solution to the electric vehicle's oldest problem - the limited range afforded by the onboard battery (or batteries) that powers it. While a complex engineering exercise, the Volt is, in principle, a very simple response to the range problem, a problem that will persist until we have a national charging-station infrastructure. The Volt does this by extending the 25-to-50-mile range afforded by the battery with a generator powered by a small gas engine.
October 24, 1996 |
For years, starry-eyed idealists have dreamed in vain of developing an electric car that would be affordable and environmentally friendly. Now a couple of companies have come up with an alternative electric vehicle that they hope will be a mass-market success - the bicycle. Not surprisingly, both firms are based in California, the state where environmental laws are among the toughest. Both have teamed up with major bicycle companies to build their products. First to market is the EV Warrior from the Electric Bicycle Co. of Burbank, Calif.
April 24, 1990 |
It deals with a couple of current problems cleanly enough, but is it just relocating the source from the freeway to the smokestack? Call it Voltswagen or whatever you like (but not Charger), it is the often- hyped electric car prototype. Several manufacturers have put them forth as public relations gimmicks to show they're conscientious about cutting down on exhaust emissions and saving petroleum fuels. The most recent and advanced of the bunch is the General Motors' Impact (not named for its method of stopping, by the way)
March 23, 2009 |
On a warm day with the top down, Steven Mortazavi was breezing along West River Drive when his eyes locked on the rearview mirror. A Philly police car was on his tail. Mortazavi wasn't speeding, but the cop followed him into a parking lot, paused behind him, and then - whew! - moved on. "He is so dying to give me a ticket," said Mortazavi, an Allentown pain-management physician. It had to be the car: Bright red. Sleek and curvy. Built for speed, it can accelerate from zero to 60 in 3.9 seconds and top out at 125 miles an hour.
August 7, 2006 |
For more than 100 years, the battery-electric car has been the car of tomorrow, but never the car of today. Why? A new documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car?, offers a captivating attempt to answer this question, but falls victim to the usual purist laments that sidetrack public policy. The "inconvenient truth" is that the battery-electric car - supposedly unsoiled by any fossil fuels - will never replace the family sedan. Those who continue to push for it are chasing a utopian dream, and ignoring a promising solution that is close at hand: the "plug-in hybrid," which recharges at home like a battery-electric car, but also draws power from a gasoline engine.