A couple of days ago a contributor to the New York Times gave five reasons why your next car will be an electric in an article on his own website and you can find that article here.
His argument is that, while conventional vehicles won’t fade away overnight they will disappear within the next 10 years and the reasons they will disappear are these:
- Climate change will continue to push us to the point where we stop burning fossil fuels.
- We will reach the point … if we haven’t reached it already … were the demand for fossil fuels will exceed the supply
- The electricity grid and technology will reach the point where it can cope with millions of vehicles being plugged in and recharged every night.
- Electric vehicles are getting better and many of the problems that restrict them now will soon be overcome
- Everyone will be able to have a home charging station and just about everywhere you park will have them too
I for one certainly hope that his vision of the future comes to pass. While I still love to hear and drive a fire-breathing V8 monster (although I now settle for a very sedate 4-cylinder) I recognize the fact that if I want my children and their children to live in a sustainable world then we have to make the transition to electric power for our cars.
But sadly I just don’t think that it’s going to happen quite that quickly. Climate change can push us all it likes but in a country where people travel 300km in a morning, do a few hours business and then turn around and drive 300km home the lack of infrastructure and the charging times are not going to be able to handle the demand.
Perhaps in the United States the electricity generating and supply companies really are working towards being able to handle the demands of millions of recharging electrical vehicles but here in Australia things are different.
In most capital cities if too many consumers turn on their air conditioners during summer we teeter on the brink of brown-outs and total shut downs and things are not improving. Think of how much demand would have to be met if everyone was recharging their electric vehicles and then do a little search to see when the last generating plant was built in Australia and how long it took to build it.
We’re certainly not going to do it on the scale that’s going to be needed in anything like 10 years and if we can’t build the power stations then is it really possible to build all those charging stations in car parks etc.
I certainly hope I’m wrong but somehow, in country where we’re still buying SUVs like there’s no tomorrow, I can’t see this every happening in 20 years let alone 10.
What do you think?