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Study: U.S. Charged about Electric Cars

Aug 11, 2010

Finally, there's something the U.S. leads the world in that's not related to French fry consumption.

The Financial Times (free registration required) reports, "The US is the country most likely to lead the emergence of electric cars as a means of mass transportation, according to research by McKinsey, the global consultancy."

The findings were determined by an electric vehicle index compiled by McKinsey. The index "gauges nine variables including consumers’ favorability toward electric cars, a segment where America ranks highly," writes Kicking Tires.

The Financial Times says McKinsey's findings "puts the US ahead of France, Germany and other western European countries that have up to now been in the vanguard of clean-vehicle technology. China is tied with Germany in third place."

"While the U.S. is usually behind the curve when it comes to industrial policy (public investment in strategically important economic sectors), the country remains the only one to use public funds to spur the development of EVs thus far," writes Kicking Tires.

Though there are very few (and very expensive) electric cars on U.S. roads now, we seem to be at the beginning of a wave of electric cars for the mass market. Some, like the Nissan Leaf, are conventional electric cars that must be plugged in to charge. Others, like the Chevy Volt, offer plug-in charging, but also have another energy source. In the case of the Volt, the car has an on-board, gasoline-powered generator, extending the distance the Volt can travel between charges. Other consumer options soon to hit U.S. streets include the Ford Focus Electric and Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

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