In case you missed it, history wasn't made last week in the Nevada desert, where a team of intrepid Britons had hoped their electric car would be the first to reach 300 m.p.h. (The existing world speed mark on land: 245 m.p.h., set in 1999) Mark Newby and Colin Fallows built their 32-foot, torpedo-shaped aluminum/carbon-fiber vehicle - "e=motion" - themselves in a barn after remortgaging their houses to raise the needed funds. The car has no gears and draws its power from 52 storage batteries. In tests near home, e=motion needed less than six-tenths of a mile to eclipse the British record, 139 m.p.h. So hopes were high for the time trial in Nevada. In fact, Newby, a trained pilot, predicted the goal would be met "easily." So why wasn't it? Alas, the car wouldn't start. No date has been set for another try.
The European Union, the family of democratic states that began with just six members and now numbers 25, has moved closer to working off the same financial page. Twelve of its members now use the banknotes that were introduced as the common currency of the "euro zone" Jan. 1, 2002. Ten more are expected to join the club once they meet certain criteria, such as achieving a high degree of price stability and a stable exchange rate. Only three established EU members have not joined the euro zone: Denmark and Britain because they've exercised an opt-out provision, and Sweden, which has yet to meet the necessary conditions. The countries that currently use euro notes and coins:
- EUROPA/BBC News