Ernest Hemingway was once asked, "How do you go bankrupt?" And he replied, "Gradually, then all at once". Big innovations are often the same, small changes take place, then all of a sudden, it all happens in a great rush. For years now, publications such as Business Day have been writing about electric cars, pronouncing them as impractical and expensive, on the one hand, or a stroke of genius on the other. Now, finally, they are upon us and it all seems to be happening at once. Three key events have taken place recently. The first is the delivery this week of the first Tesla Model 3. Second, the decision by Swedish car maker Volvo, now Chinese-owned, that all its cars will be electric or hybrid from 2019. And third, the breaching of the 320km per charge barrier by the Chevrolet Bolt, which hit the market earlier in 2017. Now, the electric car has gone from novelties such as the Nissan Leaf with a range of only 130km, or the Tesla Model S, which was a breakthrough but very expensive,...

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