They certainly can be, providing the companies and governments in charge give them the consideration they deserve. They’re more expensive now, particularly due to the cost of a battery to run them, but as both the cars themselves as well as the batteries become more standard, the cost would come down.
The issue seems to be that so many companies and countries have so much invested in oil that as long as that’s still a factor they’re unwilling to seriously look at alternatives – squeezing the last bit of toothpaste from the tube rather than throwing it away and realizing we need to start over.
Some estimate that by 2020, around 30% of the cars on the road will be electric. It’s a transition that’s going to happen, but it’s going to take time and it may be a little while until it seems cost-effective. But it’s worth it.
The only cost-effective way to presently scale up electricity generation in a significant way, quickly, is to mine and burn more coal. In a smaller way you can increase electricity generation using natural gas and nuclear power. The US is a net importer of both natural gas (about 13% imported) and uranium (85% imported).
Also, electric cars require things like neodymium, lanthanum, and lithium in their motors and batteries. These things are at present almost entirely produced in (and imported from) China (Nd and La) and Chile (more than 50% of US lithium comes from imports, mostly from Chile and Argentina). So the trade off in reducing oil imports is in increasing other imports.
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