The Right Way to Electric Cars

Excitement about electric cars abounds nowadays, but it wouldl take years of new-car sales to make a dent in the number of existing gasoline-powered cars, which is about 850 million. That fact at first depressed Jiri Räsänen, a civil servant in Helsinki, but then it gave him and his friends a good idea: Why not keep the cars but replace their engines?

NEW YORK – Excitement about electric cars abounds nowadays, but consider the number of existing gasoline-powered cars: about 850 million. It would take years of new-car sales to make a dent in that number. That fact at first depressed Jiri Räsänen, a civil servant in Helsinki – but then it gave him and his friends a good idea. Why not keep the cars but replace their engines?

That idea would solve a lot of problems, starting not just with today’s installed base of cars, but with the installed base of car makers . Even though many of them are in trouble, it’s probably not the best time to start a new car company, either. Yet while the market for new cars has slowed dramatically, it could be a good time to start a business replacing gasoline engines with electric ones.

The group’s initiative, led by Räsänen, is called eCars - Now! A small operation in Finland, it is less a company than a role model for companies that the team hopes will spring up worldwide.

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