Delivering on the promise of the electric car

Are we pigeon holing ourselves by only concentrating on the technical and marketing aspects of electric cars when other important efforts around it must also happen?

The gist is that never mind the overly optimistic pure electric vehicle, EV proponents and all those who only rally behind hybrids, HEV and plug-in hybrids, PHEV or the even more complex hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, FEV. It will only make sense once a concerted effort behind cleaner and renewable energy solutions are implemented, with the infrastructure to run the whole show intelligently.

Snapshot Of The Current Situation. It is a little alarming to see the economy back to its old myopic ways of concentrating only on certain aspects and neglecting the other building parts that need to be in place for a truly sustainable economy. EVs make little sense without a strong foundation of alternative renewable energy and the means of orchestrating it.

The Careful Balance. While it might be sexier to talk about cars, horesepower and in the case of EVs, more importantly torque, the real work is happening behind the scenes. Step one is to plan and build advanced EVs that are affordable, especially when it comes to battery mass production. This gets most of the news headlines these days, as well as most of the funds. However, transportation emissions accounts to about 25% of global pollution. Offsetting the tail pipe emissions helps, but is not the only step we need to take.

Striking The Intelligent Balance. The obvious second step, and not always the easiest for politicians and businesses to make, is to find a system that offsets pollution associated with private transportation. In other words, for every EV, HEV, PHEV, FCV sold, there should be a clean alternative energy resource implemented to help offset any pollution involved with the building and driving of any vehicles. At this point, we cannot do this in a financially reasonable way but it will not hurt to act now. Add to this the third step in building a coordinated system that balances clean energy sources and distribution and only then, will we be closer to a more sustainable future.

The Problem Is The Same. Stuck between a rock and hard place, our priorities are to maintain an economic profitable structure in the midst of a meltdown. Somehow, this might be the perfect moment to lower our over all carbon foot print with every EV sold by making sure, most, if not all of its energy comes from a clean source. Since we have to redesign a different way of doing business, this should become a priority.

These are questions worth keeping in mind when talking about the best technologies to replaces the ones used today, as well as how to implement them. One thing is for sure, if EVs are to offer all of their promises for tomorrow, it will not only be through manufacturing but also building a coherent clean energy solution with a working distribution system.


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