General Motors Corp. learned many painful lessons from its billion-dollar misadventure with its first electric car, the EV-1. Among them: Consumers won’t buy an electric car if it has limited range and limited room and runs out of juice suddenly after climbing a hill or turning on the air conditioning. Designers learned a hard lesson, too: No matter how environmentally friendly a vehicle is, if it looks weird, people won’t buy it. The upside of this school of hard knocks is that it led ...

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