The Return of the Electric Car?

The electric car was an incredible innovation…15 years ago! The fact that we don’t have cheap, dependable electric cars on the market today is not because the technology is not available. It is a variety of reasons stemming from consumer demands, government protectionism, and corporate trickery. It is well documented that the technology was there in the 90’s, and the cars were built, and then scrapped. Check out the movie that explains it all.

So why now, in 2008, when Nissan announces that they are working on an electric car for 2011, is it news? Maybe it’s because they are behind the times and they realize that in order to compete they need to make news. Maybe it’s because the media is fickle enough to buy into anything that sounds fancy. Maybe consumers are not smart enough to realize that this could just be a promotional stunt used to get people excited about Nissan.

Whatever it is, it’s not very innovative. Sure, it’s a step in the right direction for a company that has not been at the forefront of the energy talks. But the fact that they announce it as if we should be impressed by their forward thinking offends me. I think electric vehicles are a real solution, but I also think they always have been. Why is it taking so long?

GM built a line of electric cars in the 90’s. Why will it take Nissan three years from now? Battery power is there. Designs are there. Consumers are there. What is everyone in the car industry waiting for?


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