Electric Cars Falter While California Makes Driverless Cars Legal

David Brancaccio Sep 25, 2012

I was getting an adrenaline rush reading all about the all-electric RAV4 from Toyota. Lots of acceleration, no gasoline ever, just plug it in, charge it up, and go. It’s a nice piece of clean tech right? Well, there’s some bad news. 

They’re going to be limited edition–like, 2,500 models limited. Plus, the company is pretty much killing another all-electric vehicle, this eQ minicar. Why is Toyota backing away from the plug-in?

“I don’t know if they were ever really there,” says Jamie Kitman, new hork editor for Automobile Magazine. “They really built plug in hybrids sort of against their will. They were sort of shamed into it by people working in their garages who were turning their Priuses into plug ins.”

Add this news to the fact that Tesla Motors has downgraded profit earnings expectations, and it doesn’t seem like a good year for the all-electric vehicle. 

Some other interesting car news: Jerry Brown, the California governor, has signed a bill to legalize driverless cars. Are we ready for this? Hard to tell, but Kitman says we’re going to get nudged towards driverless cars soon. Why? Because taking a bunch of drivers from behind the wheel means putting them in a position where they can spend more time–and, more importantly, money–online.

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