In 1972, Volkswagen's first electric vehicle, the Transporter T2 Electric, weighed in at a stately two-and-a-half tonnes, including an 850-kilogram lead-acid battery. This electric pioneer was no speedster – it topped out at 70 km/h and 33 kW (45 hp). Electric Volkswagens have since slimmed down considerably. The battery of the e-up!, for example, weighs 230 kilograms and achieves a top speed of 130 km/h and an output of 60 kW (82 hp).
And yet many wonder why the technology can’t shed bulk even more quickly. If today we have more computing capacity in our mobile phones than there used to be in huge mainframe computers, why can't someone develop a battery that fits in the glove compartment and has a range of 600 kilometres? The answer is that battery technology involves a chemical process, so the developments are incomparible.