Electric cars are charging into the marketplace

By Jerry Hirsch and Tiffany Hsu
The Los Angeles Times
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Stalled for nearly a century, electric cars are about to move into the fast lane when the first of a new generation of vehicles reaches dealer showrooms next month.

Every major automaker plans some sort of electric or plug-in hybrid offering over the next several years, a wave of competing technologies reminiscent of the beginning of the automobile age.

Many of the new generation electric vehicles will be on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens to the public Friday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Other alternative-fuel vehicles, such as Honda’s hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity, also will be showcased.

“Electric vehicles are finally real and not an R&D project,” said Mark Sogomian, a partner at Ernst & Young.