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'As Tesla grew to be one of the biggest car brands in the world, and other new start-up companies were pouring into the electric vehicle market, it was obvious that the Auto Review series should cover them.
The story of battery-electric vehicles in the 19th and 20th centuries is told Auto Review 042, originally published in 2008. The 21st century saw a shift in the world motor industry, away from internal-combustion engines to cleaner alternatives, mostly battery-electric, though hydrogen fuel cells also got a look in. This meant drastic changes of direction for ‘legacy’ vehicle makers, developing new electric vehicle designs, retraining workers and retooling factories, at great expense ($50bn for Ford, $64bn for Honda). In addition. investment at similar level was needed for new battery ‘gigafactories’ close to car plants.
In this publication we look mostly at the ‘new names’ who could start with a clean sheet, though they needed vast upfront investment to secure a share of this lucrative new market, and some became ‘unicorns’ (start-ups worth more than $1bn). In a small section listing electric vehicles from established makers of combustion-engined vehicles, we get the opportunity to update some Auto Review titles devoted to specific makes. Whereas electric vehicles from legacy makers often retained the appearance of their combustion-engined models, some new entrants experimented with different-looking vehicles, as you will see. Many of the newer names noted here will no doubt have disappeared from the scene within a few years, but which ones?'