Even with modern technology, electric cars are not capable of satisfying consumer desires. Policymakers should end their wasteful counter-market pursuit of vehicle electrification.
Environmentalists have long wished for the electrification of passenger vehicles. As Professor Vaclav Smil points out in Energy Myths and Realities, both Thomas Edison and Henry Ford labored mightily to make that happen:
Few people believed more strongly in the eventual dominance of electric cars than Thomas Edison, the inventor of the modern electric system. This conviction brought about one of the most consequential partings in the history of technology. Henry Ford was hired as the chief engineer at Detroit Edison Illuminating Company.
Edison would, in fact, spend more than ten years trying to develop a battery that could compete with a gasoline engine. Alas, he didn’t find one. That did not dampen enthusiasm for electric cars, however.
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