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Back to the Future: It’s Electrifying

Electric cars now, and where they began
After years of deliberation with little action, automakers are finally beginning to roll out partial and all-electric vehicles. And, despite resistance from some pop culture, they are selling!

After years of deliberation with little action, automakers are finally beginning to roll out partial and all-electric vehicles. And, despite resistance from some pop culture, they are selling! It was just a couple years ago that Bob Lutz, the former vice chairman and proposed senior advisor of GM made a late night debut to defend his pet project, the partial-electric vehicle the Chevy Volt on the David Letterman Show post bashings endured from Mr. Letterman. In 2009, the Volt was merely a prototype, and was said to go over “as well as a lead balloon” by numerous critics. Jokes on them. Named 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year®, the Chevy Volt, among other electric vehicles, proves the future has arrived.

“No, no, no, no, no. This sucker’s electrical,” Doc Brown says to Marty as they hop into the DeLorean. Are electric vehicles really the future? I can’t help looking back in time to find the answer. In the late 1800s, a Scottish inventor, Robert Anderson, created the first electric car. The battery was weak, and couldn’t be recharged, so his vehicle got pushed aside in history. Years later, in Des Moines, Iowa William Morrison—a man “decades ahead of his time” according to The Des Moines Register—introduced the first electric vehicle of modern proportions. It had a capacity of six people and raced the roadways at a max speed of 20 miles per hour. But because they needed to be recharged every 50 miles, the vehicle proved impractical and held no comparison to the gas-guzzlers we’ve come to know today. Fast forward a century or so and we’re only now redeveloping the concept car. Maybe so, but better late than never, right?

With about a half dozen working parts under the hood, electric vehicles give off no emissions and are enormously cleaner than the carbon dioxide spewing internal combustion engines."

Electric vehicles are game-changers for the automotive industry. Early models developed by the likes of the Silicon Valley start-ups are selling, and for a hefty price of over 100,000 dollars. The much cheaper Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf had tens of thousands of people on waiting lists for years prior to their debut, and every car company—big and small—took note. These vehicles lend a real solution for the rising fuel costs, on both the pocketbook and the environment. With about a half dozen working parts under the hood, electric vehicles give off no emissions and are enormously cleaner than the carbon dioxide spewing internal combustion engines. And, they’re easier to maintain as they have so few parts. The problem with the longevity of electric vehicles today is, as it was in the late 1800s, the battery. Lucky for us, technology has advanced since then, and teams are diligently working to find a way to ease range anxiety. Get ready folks, I have a feeling this is heavy.