By David Thomas on July 22, 2009
If you’re a student at MIT, you’re not like every other college student in the country. No, you get to develop a prototype rapid-recharging electric vehicle. And that’s not all -- the power needed to make such a system work has to come from your university’s own power plant.
Still, the concept isn’t pie-in-the-sky academic research. Rapid recharging is the holy grail of electric vehicles. Their limited range and 3-12 hour recharging times make them impractical for long trips and relegate them strictly to second-car or commuter-car status.
The students expect the prototype — a gutted 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid — to be up and running by 2010. They also say the engine itself isn’t the cost issue and rightly point out that electric vehicles should be cheaper to maintain for owners.
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David