“I think you are going to see an inflection point at the time when the Volt was introduced,” says Pam Fletcher, executive chief engineer for electrified vehicles at Chevrolet, about the rapidly increasing pace of electric car sales. “Its place in history will be well defined.”
At the turn of the 20th century, electric cars were far more popular than their fuel-powered counterparts. They were cleaner, quieter, and made for an easier ride. Then gas-powered vehicles became widely available and affordable, and that was the end of electric.
Or, at least, the end for close to a century. In the last 15 years, automakers — who never stopped tinkering with electric vehicle technology — have made extraordinary strides. Today, pure electric vehicles go farther than ever before on a single charge, and hybrid cars that use both electricity and gasoline are increasingly fuel-efficient.