June 27, 2008

Where are the electric cars?

It's interesting to see how what seems like 'new' is many times a recycled version of an old idea that may have been ahead of its time. So much has been written about how the electric car has tremendous potential to become a viable alternative to replace our current cars. But how new is new?

If you look back to 1997,GM introduced the revolutionary EV-1, had a few passionate fans but never became a commercial success . Click here to see the trailer of the legendary documentary entitled "Who Killed The Electric Car" that covers the rise and fall of the GM EV-1.

Surprisingly enough, even Brazil had an electric vehicle back in 1974. The Gurgel Itaipu van was introduced by a visionary entreprenuer called Amaral Gurgel who dreamed of creating an automobile powerhouse in Brazil.  A dream that later disappeared. I find it fascinating to see how some people are working on their own personal projects to fill in the void by the auto industry.  I found an interesting article online by an auto enthusiast who has recreated an electric version of the Gurgel Supermini and posted how he did it.  Click here to read more...

The other day I was surprised to read on CNN.com that in the 1890's electric cars out sold gasoline powered versions:  
"In 1834 Thomas Davenport invented the battery electric car, but it wasn't until the late 1890's that electric vehicles were commercially available, with the first car dealerships in the U.S. exclusively for EVs. At that point electric vehicles out sold gasoline powered cars by ten to one. Some automobile companies, like Oldsmobile and Studebaker began as successful EV companies, only later changing to gasoline-powered vehicles.

I'm hoping that the Tesla Roadster, launched last March in California, which happens to be the most beautiful and sexiest electric sports car ever, will be ale to lower its cost over time and become the car of the future. My ultimate dream car.

Which takes me back to... a great idea for tomorrow may just be a recycled idea from the past.

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