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The Gas-Powered Car Is About To Sputter Into Oblivion

It's happening. It's really happening.

"Eventually there will be a time when the electric or alternative-fuels car will be mainstream and what you are driving today will be in a museum," former race car driver Al Unser Jr., who now works for an electric vehicles company named Zap, tells Jerry Hirsch and Tiffany Hsu, who in turn tell us that green machines are indeed moving into the fast lane after being caught in a gargantuan, L.A.-style traffic jam for the past century or so.

General Motors starts shipping its Chevrolet Volt this month. Nissan will launch its Leaf by year-end. An all-electric version of Ford's Focus will hit the macadam next year. Indeed, every major automaker plans some sort of electric or plug-in hybrid offering soon, although their technologies vary. Many of them will be on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens Friday at the Convention Center.

"The rules are changing and in a way everything is up in the air again just like it was more than 100 years ago," says Leslie Kendall, curator of the Petersen Automotive Museum.



Read the whole story at Los Angeles Times »

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