Sears — the Apple of its day for disruption and innovation — sold its own car from 1908 to 1912, before ceding the market to Ford and others. According to one expert, there hasn't been a successful new entrant into the industry in nearly a century. That track record could present a challenge to Apple, which is rumored to be thinking about launching its own line of electric cars. searsmotorbuggy.com hide caption

itoggle caption searsmotorbuggy.com

Jonette Øyen with her Nissan Leaf outside the National Archives in Norway, where she works. Next month Norway is expected to become the first country where one in every 100 cars is purely electric. Sidsel Overgaard /NPR hide caption

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A prototype of a flexible battery from Imprint Energy, one of 40 companies working on battery technology in the San Francisco Bay Area. Imprint Energy hide caption

itoggle caption Imprint Energy

BMW's electric i3 Concept is presented before the Paris Motor Show last September. The car was officially unveiled Monday; purchasers can reportedly opt for using a gas-powered SUV several weeks each year. AFP/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A Ford Focus electric concept car with a home charging unit on display at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., in January. Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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AeroVironment's Raven drone is used for military surveillance and can be launched by hand. Courtesy of AeroVironment Inc. hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of AeroVironment Inc.