It's a clever idea, but one that could have some significant drawbacks.
We'll admit, the idea of the Formula E is an exciting one to us – all-electric, open-wheel racers silently zipping around on the streets of the world's greatest cities should appeal to any futurist/racing enthusiast. As the series approaches the start of the inaugural, ten-race season in Beijing, we're learning a bit more about FE and what it hopes to accomplish.
Toyota brought its new i-Road, a three-wheeled, all-electric low-speed vehicle that debuted in 2013 at the Geneva Motor Show, to the Capitol for some of our elected officials to test out. As easy as it is to forget that politicians are people, too, it was refreshing to see a human side to many of them as they zipped about one of the Capitol's many meeting rooms.
Plug-in vehicles, battery-electric cars and plug-in hybrids are cutting US gasoline use by 45 million gallons a year, which means Americans are already saving $100 million a year in refueling costs thanks to EVs. Now, imagine how those savings might look if startups like Aptera, Coda Automotive and Fisker Automotive had created hits instead of flops.
Electric cars may be reaching their time in the sun with successes like the Tesla Model S, but the basic concept goes back to practically beginning of motoring. EVs also saw a brief renaissance in the 1970s when automakers were trying find a way around rising fuel prices. This 1979 Chrysler ETV-1 concept for sale on eBay Motors is a great example from that era.
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