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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/26/10

Tesla - Toyota - NUMMI: The Electric Car Reborn?

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NUMMI is not just any auto plant - it's located on the northern borderline of Silicon Valley, and that may prove important for the future. It's no accident that Tesla's executive leadership, financing and technological innovations, have been intimately linked with the computer industry. Its product is, after all, not just an automobile, but also an electric machine. The inter-relationship between "Green Tech" and "High Tech" is still in its formative stages, but geographic proximity alone may yield unexpected advantages. A few blocks from Tesla's show room in Palo Alto are the offices of another young company, Better Place, which has designed a transportation infrastructure of renewable energy to support a network of electric vehicles - not hybrids, but plug-in machines, like the Tesla-Toyota cars of the future.

And in the greater, greener scheme of things, there is much to be said for electric car mass production. We often hear today about the economic costs of cutting carbon emissions and battling Climate Change. On the other hand, mass production of affordable, stylish electric cars, with appeal to consumers throughout America and the world, would create jobs and bolster the economy.

Imagine our grandchildren driving tens of millions of sleek electric vehicles on American highways. Imagine a new Detroit, based in an extended Silicon Valley corridor, with manufacturing facilities throughout unemployment-wracked California.

If this should ever become reality, the history books may say that it began here and now, in Fremont, California, where the electric car was reborn.

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R.H. Smith Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Smith is an historian and public policy consultant.

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