Ten years ago this week, in February 2009, Green Car Reports published its first story—one packed with insight regarding the Chevrolet Volt, which was then still nearly two years away.
Despite all that could have happened to the Volt in GM’s bankruptcy, it arrived on time and was everything we expected.
But many things haven’t gone as planned—or have been surprising, or jaw-droppingly scandalous—and they have made our role so challenging and fulfilling over the years.
2008 tesla roadster motorauthority 002
In early 2009, the only all-electric fully fleshed passenger car was the Tesla Roadster. Tesla’s WhiteStar project, as we’d been calling it, was just starting to be referred to as the Model S, and most industry watchers and EV fans alike might have put their bets on Fisker as more likely to make it than Tesla.
Charging is also better today than many of us would have guessed. Ten years ago, none of the EVs we’d driven used what had been agreed upon at that point as the universal charging interface, J1772.
General Electric GE WattStation charging
None of today’s DC fast-charging standards existed, and public charging in general was something akin to trying to operate scientific-laboratory equipment. It stayed that way for some time, but with the industry converging on CCS and interoperability, it’s looking like things will get a lot better—if not quite as quickly as we might hope.
And yet, when you take a glimpse back at some of the other gems from that first week of GCR, it underscores that some things haven’t changed as much as it sometimes seems. Take for instance the pieces in which Elon Musk claimed that Tesla would be profitable by the middle of the year—yes, we’re still talking about 2009—and when we reminded readers that your EV is only as clean as the energy you use to charge it.
We’ve never shied away from controversy, but seeing electric cars and clean power become so politically polarizing has been an unexpected twist this decade. When GCR started, EVs had often been a future everyone could agree on in an energy independence discussion.
Over ten years, Green Car Reports has published about 18,275 pieces. That includes the back-catalog of our previous companion site All Cars Electric, which we retired in 2011. But it also includes a whopping 5,525 pieces carrying the byline of our previous/founding editor John Voelcker, who did a great job establishing a site with devoted followers—from nothing, in a market that was in an intense transition.
I Drive Green racecar
I Drive Green racecar
Yes, we know the idea of a green car is inherently confusing and ever-changing. Over the past 10 years it's included hybrids, diesels, fuel-cell vehicles, and more efficient internal-combustion engines—all chasing a cleaner future that almost certainly involves being moved down the road at least in part with electrons and principles of electromagnetism.
We look forward to embracing that road of change with you—along with whatever surprising twists we find along the way.