2011 Nissan Leaf prototype
Science fiction used to be all about the flying car, but nowadays that idea has fallen out of favor.
In its place, we've recently seen an influx of electric cars on our screens. Below we look at four examples of ongoing sci-fi shows that feature electric cars.
If you want some evening viewing that features plug-in cars, you could do worse than one of the following.
Fox's latest sci-fi series, Terra Nova, has probably the most electric vehicles we've ever seen in one show. Every form of transport used on the show is electric.
The show follows a band of humans from 2149 who travel to a parallel Earth that's 85 million years younger than ours.
They have no access to oil to convert into gasoline for their cars, so they spend all day whizzing around on electric military buggies and electric motorcycles.
They work on 'power cells' that are replaceable when short on charge, similar to today's battery-swap technology being launched by Better Place.
However, instead of needing a whole building in which to do the swap, these 'power cells' can be carried by a teenager in a rucksack. One day...
America's best kept secret, a town called Eureka, is the place where the world's geniuses all move to, where they work for Global Dynamics, doing whatever their mad genius minds come up with.
All cars on the road in Eureka, except the Subaru Impreza WRX driven by deputy sheriff Lupo, are powered by alternative fuels.
In the background to a few episodes you'll even see a Dynasty IT Sedan covered with solar cells, suggesting that – in Eureka, at least – the car runs fully on its own solar power.
The town is also used as a testing ground for new technology, including houses with artificial intelligence and a "Smart Asphalt" network that permits self-driving cars. It's a different approach to achieve the same goal as Google with its self-driving cars.
Based loosely on the warehouse shown at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Warehouse 13 contains all manner of artifacts that have interesting and usually dangerous powers.
Warehouse agents are shown traveling around the huge warehouse in an electric car created by Thomas Edison. It's powered by the combined electrical field of two people when they hold a metal bar at the front of the car.
Edison built the car, according to the show, to try and convince his friend Henry Ford to give up oil. But Ford decided to go with his gasoline car, which wouldn't last as long, because he wanted people to keep buying new ones.
Sponsored by Nissan, Fringe usually shows its agents speeding around in sport-utility vehicles.
However, in the latest episode, Olivia and Peter are seen driving a Nissan Leaf. They even tackle range anxiety in the show when Peter says, looking worried, "We're still about 40 miles out."
Olivia simply hits the Leaf's Driving Range button, looks at the display, and says in an unconcerned voice, "It's fine, we've still got plenty of range."
In other words: product placement.
Do you know of any other sci-fi shows that contain electric cars? What do you think of the shows above? And, have you seen any plug-in cars on other shows?
Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.