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At Detroit auto show, electric vehicles still make a splash

January 16, 2013

An article examines the likelihood of electric vehicles - still largely a niche product - becoming mainstream among car buyers. According to Simon Ng, director of the National Biofuels Energy Laboratory at Wayne State University, electric vehicles will not become widely accepted by the public until they can go at least 300 miles on a charge, can be charged and ready to go within five minutes and can be bought at a price comparable to their internal combustion cousins. "The good news is battery costs (are expected) to be lower by 50 percent within the next couple years," Ng said. "However, improvement in energy density and fast charging technology have not progressed fast enough. There are issues of durability, safety, and replacement cost of battery; and that will take a few more years of intense research and development."