AUTOS: Electric Rebirth

Electric cars are quiet, relatively un-polluting, and in theory can be as much as $500 a year cheaper to operate than conventional gasoline-burners. They also are generally heavier, slower and, most important, can run only 50 miles or so before they must be recharged. So far, those drawbacks have been fatal to the development of any large market. Since the early 1900s, the electric vehicle has been limited to such specialty uses as the beetle-like golf carts that purr around the nation's fairways. Now that recent gasoline shortages have forced Americans to...

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