Creating new mobility paradigms: electric cars edition
For various reasons, I don't think electric cars are "the solution" to climate change.
The real "solution" is a lot less driving, and greater use of sustainable mobility modes--walking, biking, and transit.
Which is what is discussed in the book Green Metropolis, that sustainability is best accomplished by spatial organization, concentration, and density.
Plus, the technology and rare earth minerals required to make electric batteries cost effective are expensive, and the cost of creating and supporting batteries may make the return on investment for electric vehicles perennially negative, except for tax credits and other subsidies.
Unless, like in Europe the taxes on gasoline are very high, which makes alternative fuels competitive, when gasoline costs about $8/gallon.
GE graphic depicting the infrastructure system required to support widespread use of electric cars.
Creating a system to support electric vehicles
But regardless, for electric vehicles to make sense, a support system has to be created, just as one was created to support the gasoline-powered motor vehicle. The issue is creating the system, the death of Shai Agassi's idea notwithstanding ("Shai Agassi Weighs In On The Lessons Of Tesla & Electric Cars").
Bumps along the way
1. Man arrested for using 5 cents of electricity at a public school charging station. See the AP story "Father arrested for charging his electric car at school. He spent 15 hours in jail. Eventually, the charges were dropped. From the article:
It's not clear how much electricity he used in charging his car, but Kamooneh said it was likely to have been worth only a few pennies. The former university professor turned investment advisor told ABC News: 'I'm waiting for them to arrest water drinkers and cell phone chargers.'2. Electric cars depreciate faster than gasoline-powered cars. See "Depreciation hits electric cars hard" from USA Today.
An interesting tv ad from Nissan
Nissan has a good ad, called "Errands" that's meant to address what is called "range anxiety"--that people will be traveling such a distance that goes beyond the charging range of an electric vehicle. It makes the point that most people drive 29 miles or less per day. I've only seen it once though.
I like the graphics in this about typical trips, and think that the same basic concepts pertain to sustainable mobility, and could be used in an ad that sells sustainability.
Municipalities are looking at alternative fuel vehicles to save money
See "States look to alternative fuel vehicles for efficiencies" from the Washington Post and "Hyattsville cost-saving effort sparks plan for electric cars" from the Gazette.