Smart cars, which reached the market a decade ago, originally measured just 250 centimeters long, thus allowing them to be easy to park in crowded city locales. The first electric Smart car was introduced early in 2008. A second generation electric version of the Smart Fortwo, which uses a 14 kW-hr battery, was scheduled to begin production in November, 2009.
California’s plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isn’t the first such undertaking and certainly won’t be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.
By now, most followers of the electric car market know that another Tesla Model S caught fire in early February. The blaze happened in a homeowner’s garage in Toronto. After parking the car, the owner left his garage. Moments later, the smoke detector blared, the fire department was called, and the car was ruined. To date, no one knows why.