Electricity

Is this the ultimate answer?

I read an article on treehugger.com (Ten things that could suddenly make Americans love EVs) the other day that got me thinking about EVs.  The author had some good ideas, for sure, so let’s look at them and take them a step further (or maybe a step back).

  • Facing massive amounts of unpaid debt, credit card companies ban use of credit cards for buying things like gasoline and groceries. No cash, no drive.

While this might make sense in theory, I don’t think credit cards will ban purchase of such basic essentials (I mean, people have to eat).  Also, people with EVs will likely charge their cars at home, and they still have to pay the electricity bills.

  • Gas goes over $5/gallon and stays there.

Maybe.  I’m no economist, so I’m not sure how gas prices are predicted to increase, and I’m not sure if there are any dramatic increases coming in the near future.  Certainly, however, this is a long-term concern which is likely inevitable.

  • Power companies compete directly with fuel retailers, building charge stations in secure public parking garages and at Park and Ride lots (as pictured). Net monitored use tax can substitute for parking meters.

Competition with the fuel companies?  About time!

  • El Nino cycle ends and for a decade to follow there are extended gas shortages following hurricane season.

This may be…it would certainly drive up oil prices!  People tend to think with their pocketbooks, often out of necessity.

  • Upgradeable driving distance EV’s are offered by the major car companies. The first time buyer can start with a low-cost 40-mile drive range model and add battery capacity up to 200+ miles, as budget and circumstances permit. Models with ranges over 100 miles are offered with a Volt-like hybrid option

I think this will be great, especially in cities.  Gotta get it marketed!

  • Battery prices fall by 50% as manufacturing costs go down.

The technology is said to be out there.  But this is almost like a chicken and egg scenario: battery prices will fall as production increases, production will increase when the demand is there, and the demand will be there when prices are reasonable.  Again, we need commitment and marketing from car companies for consumers to know what the heck is going on.

  • Corporate fleets and local governments decide they need EV’s just to keep operations going and to buffer budgets against unpredictable operating cost fluctuations.

Even without the other benefits of EVs, I think that large contracts from the governments or other agencies would promote production of EVs.  This takes commitment from the government or the agency.  The government is committed to many things with little public support at the moment; the public is focusing on more imminent crises at the moment, so we probably can’t expect anything from the feds.  However, state governments could make commitments, as could corporations or agencies wanting to protect the environment.

  • Very large numbers of rural US poor move to the cities and inner ring suburbs. Small, inexpensive EV’s that can be rented and recharged at work are an option for those who left the big truck back home.

There are theories out there that say the best thing we can do for the planet is to move to the cities and concentrate our mess instead of spreading over sprawling countryside.  Adding EVs to the mix sweetens the deal.

  • Large tax credits are offered for those who purchase or lease US-made EV’s.

There are tax credits currently set up for EV purchasers, but right now it’s set up as a personal tax credit which isn’t accessible at the time of purchase.  This could be made more consumer-friendly, for sure, but a step in the right direction!  After all, Obama said he wants a million plug-ins on America’s roadways by 2015.

  • EV dealers put satellite lots near mass transit hubs, industrial parks, and corporate office centers, offering discount charging for regular customers and shuttle services for those who need them.

Again, makes good sense for city drivers.  Once it is affordable, people should show up.  In theory.

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