Yes, this seems to be the obvious problem that people in love with the idea of the electric car seem to forget. They invision an electric car saving their current car based society. "Oh! If I get an electric car, I can drive all about and only pay one penny per mile! It will save my love affair with the automobile that's currently becoming too expensive." They only seem to see the very short term gain, and never want to look at the long term affects.
As has already been pointed out, Kalifornia cannot produce 100% of its own energy needs. The myopic crowd cries, "Oh that's simple Kaifornians will simply plug them in at night during off peak hours." Yes, I'm going to believe that a state of nearly 40,000,000 people will all plug their cars in at night because it makes sense. People are individualists that generally care little about their actions. Moreover, with tens of millions of cars being plugged in at night, don't you see that causing a problem for the power grid? We're talking about exponentially increasing a state's power consumption at a rather alarming rate. I'm not talking double or triple the power consumption, but rather an increase that will be on par or exceed it's daytime power consumption.
Furthermore, Kalifornia, like most states, funds the lion's share of their infrastructure via state excise taxes on gasoline. The money that doesn't cover the cost of infrastructure is subsidized by the federal government via federal excise taxes on gasoline. Imagine how much tax will be placed on electricity to cover for lost revenue on government gasoline excise taxes.
The electric car is very expensive, and will remain that way until the government begins to heavily subsidise them, or oil becomes too expensive. Until then, battery technology will not progress fast enough to make an electric car a viable alternative to an internal combustion engine.
Cars are not the answer. Every American needs to come to the realization that our suburban let's drive tens of thousands of miles annually lifestyle is going to come to an end. I wouldn't doubt that twenty or thirty years from now we will return to a lifestyle similar to the 1940s. The reason will be that our lifestyle, infrastructure, and oil will become too expensive for the average person to maintain. People will talk about the days of owning a car as they ride a train on trips of 20 miles or more, walk to work, shop, and use mass transit to get about the newly gentrified cities.
Those that keep saying, "I live in the suburbs, drive 80 miles round trip to work, or I live in the country, drive 20 miles to the store, so mass transit won't work." Hey, you're either going to move to where it's more economical to live, or you're going to die. People lived like this before we became a car society, so people will be able to live once the personal car dies. There are dozens of modern countries with people that live a higher standard of living than the average American, but do so without the need for billions of miles of expensive infrastructure and personal vehicles. In those countries, they walk, bicycle, or take mass transit to their destinations.
If you really love your cars, face the fact that there is no such thing as a green car. Trains, walking, cycling, and the like are thousands of times more efficient, thus far greener than the energy wasting highways and urban sprawl they create by making us dependent upon personal transportation. We should cut our safety standards way down, go back to a car similar to a French Citroen with a 2 - 3 cyclinder turbo diesel that gets 100 - 120 mpg. Heavily tax fuel to fund infrastructure, and make gasoline vehicles too expensive to operate. Then those that enjoy their car based society would be able to live that way another 20 or 30 years.
As for me, I'm tired of the government that the auto has created. Cops everywhere just waiting to catch you for exceeding the speed limit by 2 mph. Ridiculous auto insurance rates. Repair bills because I can no longer work on the complex computer controlled cars of today. Traffic, urban sprawl, you have to own a car or you cannot live! Yes, I cannot wait to see this system fail!
Lived during the good times of the car based society from the 1960s through today. Great income and few regulations made cheap cars and gas a fun thing! Today, eventhough I have a clean driving record, I can barely afford a car, insurance, and all that owning a car entails, so I've given them up. How can I write to you on a computer? That's simple, even the tiny city of 30,000 that I live in has a public library that let me use a computer, the internet, and I've no out of pocket expense.
· 9 years ago