Ed. note: We're now up to the sixth post in the Green Basics series of posts that TreeHugger is writing to provide basic information about important ideas, materials and technologies for new greenies (or those who just need a quick refresher). Read on and stay tuned!
What are electric cars?
The electric vehicle (EV), or, more colloquially, electric car, is gaining traction as a viable alternative form of personal transportation, and remains just out of arms' reach as a mainstream way to get around. An electric car runs on energy stored in large packs of batteries instead of the more conventional internal combustion engine, making it very attractive to those concerned with using less oil and causing fewer greenhouse gas emissions. When driving, they don't emit any carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gas, nor any nitrogen oxide or other smog-forming compound. The first electric car to be commercially available in the US, General Motors' EV1, is pictured above, and much was made about who killed the electric car; keep reading to get the scoop on whodunit.