National Geographic : 2009 Nov
In the future most cars will run on electricity from sun, wind, and water. Plug-in electric vehicles will hum along streets, giving off no exhaust. Oil imports and greenhouse gas emissions will fall. Smog will lift. At least that's the vision many people are hoping will become reality. But first there are a few logistical problems to work out, including this one: Just where are all these revolutionary new cars going to plug in? Between 2010 and 2012, car manufacturers are planning to introduce dozens of models that are either partially or completely powered by rechargeable batteries. Plug-in hybrid vehicles like the Chevy Volt, which will have a gasoline engine to fall back on after about 40 miles, will take up to eight hours to charge on ordinary 120-volt household current; some all-electric vehicles, with larger batteries designed to provide a range of 100 to 200 miles, will need 10 to 12 hours. Many homes have 240-volt outlets (used to run clothes dryers) that could in principle cut the time in half, and much charging can be done overnight, when This time around, electric cars may play even in Peoria. But they will require a new infrastructure to replace today's filling stations---one that dispenses electrons rather than gasoline. The Future of Filling Up • THE BIG IDEA | ELECTRIC CARS MEET THE WATTS A three-car family, they live in one vision of a future world that is set up for electric vehicles. THE NEIGHBORS Some still find gasoline engines more convenient.