Electric cars on the horizon?

The article "L.A. Launches Electric Car," Dec. 11, paints a bright future for electric vehicles (EVs). Someday we'll have smog-free cars and clear urban skylines. In the meantime we can just plug our noses and wait for the LA301 [prototype car] in 1993.

Several years ago GM said they would have an EV by 1991. Now they can't be pinned down on a time, estimating their Impact or newly unveiled Mule to be available towards the mid-'90s.

While the Big Three consider the marketability of electric vehicles, there are a number of small manufacturers around the nation who believe a market already exists using today's technology. Solar Electric Engineering makes a compact EV retrofit, capable of traveling 40 to 60 miles, at speeds of 65 mph; remarkably similar to the LA301, minus the auxiliary gas engine.

These cars are available today. Those waiting for Detroit may see a lot of foot-dragging. It's the oil-automotive alliance that has the most to lose in a world full of clean, efficient, low-maintenance electric cars. Alex Campbell, Santa Rosa, Calif. Solar Electric Engineering, Inc.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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