High-Tech Hits the Detroit Auto Show

Electric vehicles representing the luxury and workaday segments of the auto market show that outlet-fueled cars are no longer in a niche

1 min read
High-Tech Hits the Detroit Auto Show

Photo: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images
Admit it. The words “hybrid-electric vehicle” don’t bring the Porsche 918 RSR concept car to mind. This car, a version of the 911 GT3 R hybrid race car that stores the energy from regenerative braking in a flywheel, really flies. The charge accumulator feeds twin 75-kilowatt electric motors on the Porsche’s front wheels, boosting the car’s maximum power output to 572 kW.

The Conversation (0)

We Need More Than Just Electric Vehicles

To decarbonize road transport we need to complement EVs with bikes, rail, city planning, and alternative energy

11 min read
A worker works on the frame of a car on an assembly line.

China has more EVs than any other country—but it also gets most of its electricity from coal.

VCG/Getty Images

EVs have finally come of age. The total cost of purchasing and driving one—the cost of ownership—has fallen nearly to parity with a typical gasoline-fueled car. Scientists and engineers have extended the range of EVs by cramming ever more energy into their batteries, and vehicle-charging networks have expanded in many countries. In the United States, for example, there are more than 49,000 public charging stations, and it is now possible to drive an EV from New York to California using public charging networks.

With all this, consumers and policymakers alike are hopeful that society will soon greatly reduce its carbon emissions by replacing today’s cars with electric vehicles. Indeed, adopting electric vehicles will go a long way in helping to improve environmental outcomes. But EVs come with important weaknesses, and so people shouldn’t count on them alone to do the job, even for the transportation sector.

Keep Reading ↓Show less