October 16, 2014
I’ve been talking about the revolution in transportation for some time, and one of the classic responses I get when I bring up electric cars is, “But wait, cars are the problem, we need to get away from cars.”
Typically this will be in a setting where almost everyone has arrived and will leave in a car. Not the best idea, this total American reliance on the automobile, but it is, for now, a fact. I point out that even if we plunge into an Apollo scale program to bring US mass transit up to the standards of, say, Europe – that’s a 30 year program, and at the end of it, we’re still going to have lot of cars – and we should be thinking about changing the way we fuel them. That said, I’m all about mass transit, and increasingly, cities around the country are getting it, and realize that if they want to be successful and vibrant, good public transit is a priority. Even Detroit is now breaking ground on a new light rail system. I’ll be reporting more on this in the future.
It’s fascinating that, when I did my previous video about electric car solutions, one of the main points I was making was the idea of “V to G”, vehicle to grid storage of energy – which is still a good, viable idea – but the interesting addition to the mix now is the rapidly exploding revolution in solar technology, and right behind that, battery tech. Just a few years ago, the idea was that the only batteries large enough to store significant energy would have to be in a car, they’d be too expensive to be part of a household system. Now, better technology, and equally important, new economic models, are going to make household energy storage systems much more common, even ubiquitous.
So the idea, expressed in the video, of “driving on pure sunlight” – seems much more within reach than it did just a few years ago.