Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Electric cars - they were once viable??

Recently, I came across a great book ("Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars That Will Recharge America"), and a great DVD ("Who Killed The Electric Car?"), that proved that viable electric cars existed commercially in the not-too-distant past of 1996-2001. What's more, it was GM-made, had an insane following, and was practical for almost 90% of American drivers needs.

I was even more shocked to learn that electric automobiles and electric street-cars (trolleys) were once more common than gasoline vehicle -- as early at the late 1800's. It wasn't until the 60's that business dynamics (and some rather unethical maneuvering by today's standards) by the big car and oil companies that a system that had worked well was systematically dismantled.

It is a sad state of our society that such knowledge is not even publicly well-known. That clean, green technology that had proven viable was wiped out due to greed -- for there was more money to be made in oil, and in mechanical and engine-intensive vehicular technology.

Encouragingly, the converging factors of climate change, high oil prices, and geopolitical instability due to our oil habits, are meshing well with much-improved technology to produce/store electricity cheaply such as battery technology, lightweight car frame, better ways to generate electricity from renewable sources. Hence, it is actually now more possible to have this past reality resurrected.

I am hopeful that electric cars, or at least plug-in hybrids, will be available to consumers more readily in the near future. Please watch the DVD. Read the book if you want more info. You can also read chapter 2 of Natural Capitalism (or see for more information on Hypercars -- a super light-weight cars that has physics and economics on its side.

Thank you to those of you who fought for the EV1.
It makes me angry that the folks at GM and various other vested interest groups were so short-sighted, and misguided... Thanks but no thanks to them, we still have to breathe the dirty air when there was a real chance to shift the dynamics of our roads and transportation. We lost our lead as a country in a very viable technological innovation just because entrenched big business interests prevaileld. The Japanese have now successfully proved, economically, that hybrid electric cars have a market.

It makes me SOOOO MAD. Which is why I want to write this blog. And continue to write about good, green tech where the numbers make sense. Write about the good green alternatives that have a chance in the market. Please spread the word.

-Marn Yee

No comments: