This is the year of the electric car

The man, the car, the legend.
The man, the car, the legend.
Image: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
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At the beginning of 2013, the stock price for US electric carmaker Tesla was $32. Now it’s sitting at around $150, after the company’s Model S sedan was named American automotive magazine Car and Driver’s car of the year. And really, that’s just the beginning; Tesla will be shipping 40,000 cars a year by the end of 2014, and it will roll out a cheaper Model X crossover vehicle.

Tesla’s success has helped burnish the image of electric cars, paving the way for just about every major manufacturer to roll out their own models. General Motors, Toyota, Ford, BMWFiatHonda and Volkswagen will hit about every price point a buyer of a new, mid-range sedan might want. Even more affordable electric vehicles, from Chevrolet,  KiaMitsubishi and the Mercedes-owned Smart, will spread the technology further; a $20,000 electric vehicle may seem worth it to the 42% of American drivers who could switch to electric cars without changing their driving habits.

This year will also hail impressive new technologies in electric cars, including a solar-powered vehicle from Ford that can absorb enough solar energy in a single day to travel 21 miles.

This is part 5 in a series.

Coming next: 2014 will be the year of better alternatives to Google Glass

Join Quartz technology, science and health editor Christopher MimsRe/code co-executive editor Kara Swisher, and Wall Street Journal technology columnist Farhad Manjoo for a live video discussion on the year ahead in technology, this Wednesday January 8 at 1pm ET. The event will be hosted by Quartz editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney

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