When even Honda can't make a go of its hybrid Accord, it's tempting to write off electric cars as glorified scooters. Can any company make a profit on them? Will consumers ever warm to a ride that needs recharging?
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Several entrepreneurial companies are betting on it. They include Silicon Valley-based Wrightspeed Inc., whose electric prototype blasted from 0 to 100 mph in less than seven seconds during track testing. Odyne Corp. in Hauppauge, New York, developed a plug-in electric hybrid powertrain for trucks and buses. At New York City-based Visionary Vehicles, Malcolm Bricklin, founder of Subaru of America, is designing and engineering plug-in vehicles to be manufactured in China and projected to be sold here, via a 250-dealer network, by 2010.
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