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Bringing Electric Cars to Market

UCD-ITS-RP-95-08

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Suggested Citation:
Sperling, Daniel (1995) Bringing Electric Cars to Market. Access Magazine (6), 12 - 18

Over the past five years, electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as promising alternatives to cars driven by internal combustion engines (ICEs). A wave of technological innovations in electronics, lightweight materials, and electrochemistry, and a variety of energy-saving improvements have made the imminent commercialization of EVs possible. These include not only battery-powered cars, whose ultimate role may be modest, but also vehicles powered by electric fuel cells or by hybridized combinations of ICEs and electric motors.

EVs are particularly suited to countries where pollution is severe, petroleum imports are spiraling upward, cheap electricity is available in off-peak hours, or vehicle acceleration and range is secondary to reliability and low maintenance. Whoever pioneers large-scale production of low-cost electric-drive vehicles will find inviting and profitable markets around the world.