CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT: IS THIS CLEAN MACHINE FOR REAL?

ELECTRIC CARS HUM DOWN THE ROAD BEAUTIFULLY BUT FACE OBSTACLES OF HIGH COST, LIMITED RANGE AND UNLIMITED POLITICS

How does it go, you ask yourself: and then you will ask how could we have possibly gone so long without it? --General Motors ad for EV1

The first hint cropped up late last year: billboards displaying a giant photograph of lightning bolts across a dark sky and the enigmatic message YOU CAN'T HEAR IT COMING, BUT IT IS. Within weeks, it came. In a blaze of publicity, General Motors launched the nation's first mass-market electric car in modern times--a whisper-quiet, aerodynamic techno-marvel christened EV1. Thousands signed up to test-drive the spiffy two-seater, engineered with the help of rocket scientists...

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