Putting the zoom into electric cars

For the first time since the early 20th century, America is seeing a flowering of entrepreneurship in the auto industry. Today at least 11 new electric car companies, each working on a wide range of technologies, have launched or plan to launch models. These upstarts are not modest. They believe they can do what major automakers have failed to do: bring an electric car to the mass market.

If the Tesla gives you sticker shock, don't worry. Phoenix Motorcars of Ontario, Calif., is aiming at businesses, and in early 2008 plans to sell a $47,000 electric pickup truck that can be recharged in ten minutes at special stations. Otherwise you'll have to plug it into a regular houshold socket for a few hours after driving 100 miles or so. Phoenix also plans to launch an all-electric SUV.






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