Historically the electric car began in the 1900s, but it was not until towards the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century did true progression of the electric car take place. Early this decade gas prices started to rise and President George W. Bush began to release statements of encouragement towards car manufacturers to find alternative fuel sources in order to release are dependence on foreign oil. This was great advice and it sounded just as good in the 1980s when President Reagan spoke of foreign oil companies having a hold on the US. Fast forward to the 11/8/10, two large car companies, Nissan and Chevrolet are about to release two completely electric cars that will be available for the public.
Nissan is calling their car the "Leaf" and Chevrolet is calling their car the "Volt." Obviously Nissan is going for the "green" image behind their car and Chevrolet is trying to keep their brand of "power" with this model of electric vehicle. These two cars are geared towards the public and the government is encouraging the sales of these vehicles by offering rebates to the buyers to make them more affordable. These cars look nice and comfortable, but there have been failures throughout the car industry where people thought a certain model car would do great things. Some of the best examples are the Ford Pinto, Mitsubshi Montero, Ford Edsel, Cadillac Cimarron, and GM's EV1 were all expected to sell very well, but they didn't.
To state that they sold moderately well is an exaggeration and GM's EV1 is important because it was initially the car that was to bring in the new wave of electric vehicles. After a recall from GM, under suspicious reasons, the EV1 production was halted and the closest thing to an electric vehicle was a hybrid. Hybrids are not a solution to the problem of dependence on foreign oil at best it's a nice band-aid. These new cars hopefully will last longer than their predecessors and will encourage fully electric vehicles to be made and much like the first gasoline powered vehicle progression will take place. The worst that could happen is the planet's air will be a bit cleaner, but in a best case scenario the price of gasoline powered cars will drop down to dirt cheap and we all could afford a nice muscle car at the fraction of the price.