Electric cars have been the future of transportation for nearly a century, and despite a flock of new entries, the battery-powered segment of the auto market remains a narrow niche.
Few transportation technologies provoke as much debate as electric vehicles. Fans love them for performance—a well-designed electric car can accelerate faster from a stop than many a muscle car—as much as for cleanliness. Skeptics ask why they should pay a premium or subsidize tax breaks for cars with limited range and utility. In the discussion that follows, Andrew Tomko, Alex Venz and Margaret Burgoon make the case for EVs. Mr. Tomko, 52, an English professor at Bergen Community College in Paramus, N.J., owns an electric Fit subcompact from Honda Motor Co. Mr. Venz, 29, and Ms. Burgoon, 28, who are married, bought a Nissan Motor Co. Leaf two years ago. She’s an electrical engineer, he’s a technology consultant and photographer. They live in Lancaster, Calif.
University of Michigan Prof. John DeCicco presents the skeptic’s view. Prof. De Cicco developed an environmental scorecard and was a senior fellow for automotive strategies at the Environmental Defense Fund from 2001-2009. Prof. DeCicco says at best he foresees a future market for electric vehicles as small, automated cars in densely populated urban areas. But even that is “pretty far away,” he says. Read more at the Wall Street Journal here.