Flying cars may still be implausible (sorry George Jetson), but what about electric cars? With fuel prices at their absolute highest and America’s dependency on foreign oil becoming more and more of an issue, car manufacturers are focusing towards alternative ways to power their vehicles.
GM, Toyota, and Tesla have all proposed to have electric cars on the market by 2010, all of which plan to run on a lithium-ion battery, and are proposed to be able to travel from 240-300 miles on a single charge. While the Chevy Volt and the new Toyota Prius take the route of your normal sedan, the Tesla Roadster is promised to be an exciting new sports car. Whichever wrapping the package comes in, all three manufactures are taking a step towards lightening our dependency on gasoline.
Although electric cars seem to be the wave of the future, 2010 will not be the first time they will be introduced to our American highways. Electric cars were initially introduced to California highways in the late 90s, but more than a decade later have vanished from the road. Who Killed the Electric Car? is a documentary that follows the rise and fall of the electric car from the mid 90s on, and follows why the electric car seemed to have had such a short life span. This film closely follows the California Air Recourses Board (CARB) and focuses on the Zero Emissions Vehicle Program (more affectionately known as the ZEV Mandate) which has placed pressure on the 6 largest auto manufacturers to place a certain number of zero emission vehicles on American roads between 2012 and 2015. The ZEV Mandate has recently been cut, decreasing the required minimum of zero emission vehicles from 25,000 to 7,500.
Whatever the outcome, these innovations are a promise towards exciting times in the next few years. Who knows, George Jetson’s flying car may not be so implausible in the near future after all?