Commercial electric vans are being deployed in operational fleets in the United States and Canada and assessments are being made of the operation and maintenance costs compared with conventional vehicles. For specific missions, the electric vehicle can be a cost effective alternative. As the technology of batteries and propulsion systems is advanced the missions and potential use of electric vehicles will be enhanced. This paper will describe the latest battery and powertrain technology developments, the testing and evaluation in the laboratory and in fleet testing of new advanced technologies and an assessment of the potential use of electric vehicles in future transportation systems. Specific promising battery developments, such as sodium-sulfur, zinc-bromine, and lithium-metal sulfide which significantly increase the range of electric vehicles by a factor of 3 or more will be described. The advances in alternating current propulsion systems will also be presented. The benefits of electric propulsion in the reduction of petroleum consumption and pollution control will be quantified through modeling techniques.