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Electric Cars in 60 Minutes

Okay, so I thought I would never be writing on a 60 minutes segment, but Leslie
Stahl had one last night that you might be a little interested in, it deals with
electric and electric/hybrids Forced Green has posted on before, so here we go:

One of the reasons electric cars have never taken off has been battery technology.
A few years ago, someone wondered: why not use the batteries they put in laptop
computers called lithium-ion batteries? That’s when the environmentally-conscious
hi-tech industry in California jumped in.

The first all-electric sports car is called the “Roadster” and is made by Tesla
Motors, a small start-up in Northern California.

The chairman of Tesla, Elon Musk, says the Roadster can accelerate from zero to 60
in four seconds. It is propelled by over 6,000 finger-sized lap top batteries, and
not a single drop of oil.

Musk says the Roadster sells for $109,000, and tells Stahl, with a smile, that the
car is “a deal.” “And our car’s twice the efficiency of a Prius. So a Prius is a
gas-guzzling hog by comparison with our cars,” he says.

Lutz is the man in charge of developing GM’s new products, and he says he owes Tesla
and its Roadster a debt of gratitude. “If a small Silicon Valley start up believes
that they can do a commercially viable electric car, are we going to sit here at
General Motors and say, ‘Well, a guy in California can do it, but we can’t?’ Well,
that didn’t sound very good.”

Lutz admits that’s embarrassing.

And so, the race was on, with Lutz overseeing the research and development of the
Chevy Volt, which is a four-door family electric car.

It was GM with egg on its face in the late 1990s for killing off its first electric
cars, the EV1s, and then crushing them into scrap metal, which fueled theories that
GM had conspired with the oil industry to get rid of the electric car.

“I think even our lawyers now would admit that perhaps crushing them was not the
smartest thing in the world to do. I get e-mails that say, ‘I hope you enjoy the
billions that you got from the oil companies, you swine,” Lutz says. Ray Lane is
a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins, the venture capital firm that helped start
Google and Amazon. Now, he’s investing in three electric car start-ups.

“When I first started talking about the possibility of investing in automobiles,
my partners thought I was crazy,” Lane says. “We’re not out of the woods yet, okay?
I haven’t proved I’m not crazy yet.”

One of his startups is Fisker Automotive, the maker of the “Karma,” a four-door
plug-in hybrid like the Volt, with some added gee-whiz features.

For example, the car has a solar roof. “So this will generate electricity. It will
not generate enough to drive the battery though, like the engine does,” Lane
explains. “It will drive enough electricity so you can be maybe cool the car while
it’s in the parking lot.”

It was a good segment, especially when Stahl held Lutz’s feet to the fire
concerning his faux paus annoucement of the estimated price of the Volt to be
around $20,000.00, then having to back track and up the estimate to around
$40,000.00. That doubled up price jumped right out of the budget of a whole
lot us!

But at least main stream programming is starting to take an interest in our
enviroment.

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4 Responses to “Electric Cars in 60 Minutes”

  1. Electric Cars in 60 Minutes Says:

    […] Original post by Linda […]

  2. Heath Says:

    They’ve came a long way on those. Out here in the wide open spaces I get nervous about cars you have to plug in and it takes a couple hours to recharge. But they seem to be getting closer to better options each day.

  3. Linda Says:

    Hi Heath … Yep! In Texas we have the same problem of wide open spaces with miles and miles
    of no where to plug into. But they are getting closer…

  4. www.3xE.pl Says:

    Troche faktów:
    – koszt przeróbki auta spalinowego na elektryczne: okolo 20 tys zl
    – koszt pradu: 2zl/100km,
    – amortyzacja akumulatorów: ok. 7zl/100km,
    – ubezpieczenie: 266zl/rok.

    W porównaniu ze spalinowcem, który robi 1500 km/miesiac, AUTO ELEKTRYCZNE ZWRACA SIE PO 3,5 roku (AUTO SPALINOWE NIE ZWRACA SIE NIGDY!).
    Niektórzy powiedza ze to dlugo… ale z drugiej strony po 3,5 roku pozostaje AUTO, KTÓRE JEZDZI ZA OKOLO 9 zl/100km PO MIESCIE!

    Zapraszam na strone: http://www.3xE.pl albo http://www.samochody-elektryczne.com

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