Tesla IPO: Are electric vehicles here to stay?

Shares of electric car maker Tesla Motors went public Tuesday.

American automaker Tesla Motors has captured the public's imagination with its sleek, all-electric roadster. It's also planning to bring a family sedan to market by 2012.

Do you think all-electric vehicles are ready to go mainstream in America?

The BP oil spill has accelerated interest in weaning Americans from gas-guzzling vehicles. But as a Monitor editorial pointed out last year:

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Advocates of these next-gen cars, however, often act like someone who takes for granted that a light will go on whenever they flip a switch. They fail to ask two critical questions:

Will electric utilities be able to build enough power plants for all these electron guzzlers? And, even if they can, will new plants simply burn coal or oil in the same old dirty way – negating to a degree the anticarbon benefits of hybrid-electric cars?

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