Electric cars have been around pretty much as long as the conventional internal combustion engine variety. But they have always lost out to their noisy, polluting brother – because of their slowness and limited range.
Thus for decades, the technology has been relegated to golf carts, fork-lift trucks – and joke-mobiles like the idiotic Sinclair C5. That will eventually change – but it will not be easy coming…
General Motors issued their EV1 back in ’96, as a response to pressure from The Government. But they only LEASED it – and when industry pressure managed to overcome the government pressure, they seized the cars back from their protesting customers and CRUSHED them.
And this has been a recurring theme. Car manufacturers’ noses are so far up the oil companies’ chuffs, they can tell what they had for breakfast. And California’s government is not unlike America’s – whose nice but impotent POTUS is hamstrung by Big Business.
The current situation is this…
Electric cars have always been limited by battery performance – big, heavy lead-acid affairs – but since the advent of NiMH batteries (like the one powering your mobile phone and the very computer you are reading THIS on) range, performance and top speed have all increased exponentially.
The Tesla will do over 200 miles on a charge, 0-60 MPH in under four seconds and is LIMITED to 125 MPH – how much faster do you need to go?
Twenty years ago, we were promised “alien technology” – the “Fuel Cell” would revolutionise road travel (and maybe electricity generation) in just a few years. We are still waiting.
Hydrogen cars promised CLEAN motoring – but the cost is prohibitive.
“Hybrids” are now all over America – but they still use an internal combustion engine.
Fact is, thanks to its eternal greed, arrogance and stupidity, Big Business is keeping us back in the Second Millennium – with billions of high-tech cars using low-tech means to propel us about.
And if we choke on their fuel’s by-products and get ensnarled in primitive nations’ wars to obtain it – what do they care?
But it does not have to BE this way.
With fast, efficient, comfortable trains to move us long distances and smooth, clean, cheap ELECTRIC cars to give us freedom on shorter runs – this World could be SO much BETTER.
Of course, these vehicles do not run on magic – the electricity to power them still has to be generated. But therein lies ANOTHER story of greed, arrogance and stupidity.
While nuclear, hydro, wave, wind and solar power all have their problems, coal is plentiful all over. And the traditional arduous and dangerous methods of obtaining it have long been superseded by open cast mining, which, with a little commonsense could be ramped up without spoiling the environment (dig a big hole – extract the coal – then fill said hole with refuse – and cover. It is not rocket science).
And while burning that coal still produces greenhouse gases – the quantity produced is a HELL of a lot less than that produced by billions of separate internal combustion engines.
But of course, Big Business is content to retain the status quo. Anything else would cost it MONEY. Which is what it is ALWAYS about.
And individual action is no good. It is pretty cheap to convert a second-hand car to run on NiMH batteries – but if you want to run it on public roads, you have to get it past the Construction And Use regs – which are dictated by The Government.
Nope – what is needed is for just ONE rich entrepreneur to start up a BIG factory making FAMILY cars in BULK, using the latest plug-in electric technology. Then start SELLING those cars – while making sure they cannot be bought out by f***ing GM.
How about it, Richard Branson?