Electric cars 'ready to go' before public

Pushed by governments eager to do something about global warming and fearful of missing a technology shift, companies are moving ahead anyway and beginning to increase the production and sale of electric vehicles. This shift toward electric vehicles represents a huge leap of faith for the automakers, especially as they emerge from the worst industry downturn ever. To be able to produce electric cars in a few years, they must invest billions now without knowing how deep the market will be. As a result, said Mr. Matthies of Bain & Company, automakers will band together to share the cost of developing electric vehicles. ''It is a real stretch for the manufacturers, which is why we will see more and more cooperation,''