Research and development of electric and hybrid vehicles in the United States has recently been accelerated by government support through the Department of Energy. Vehicle systems, improved batteries, and supporting technology which are currently under development will offer significant improvements in electric vehicle performance and operating cost by 1980. Improved hybrid vehicles will also be developed under the Department of Energy program. Future electric and hybrid vehicles will be able to satisfy a large portion of the average family's driving requirements with operating costs comparable to a conventional automobile. Public acceptance of these alternate vehicles for widespread use will depend upon the levels of performance, reliability and life cycle cost which are demonstrated.