A moment of transformation
I am going to ask you to sit and watch 20 minutes of video. I have just done that. I am amazed. Electric cars have always been “just around the corner”. But it now appears that things are going to change – because of a man who understands “the social contract” between car drivers and automakers. He has worked out what it would take to wean Israel off oil – and says that he can do the same for the US – for the cost of one year of imported crude.
Now what am I, a transit advocate, doing promoting electric cars? I do not believe that it will ever be possible to convert most of the trips in this region to transit trips. I think we can do much better than 11% – which is where we have been stuck for the last ten years – but in order to do that we would need the sort of transformation that Shai Agassi talks about for cars. We do not have anyone trying to do that here. I would love to think that we could have, but I am not going to wait for that moment. IF we can have electric cars and clean power generation, then we will have to deal with the traffic congestion. We cannot wait for the gas prices and taxes to rise enough to do that for us. For as we have seen, it has had very little effect up to now – at least in BC. And as long as transit is in the cold dead hands of the bureaucrats appointed by Victoria, do not expect things to change much.
So I am prepared to see lots of electric cars – and remarkably quickly – because this one man has 1) made it unnecessary to buy the battery and 2) I get a free car if I sign up for a long term contract – just like a cell phone. We will still need a lot more transit. We will still have a congestion problem. But air quality and ghg emissions will have been removed from the equation. That will present the transit system with an even bigger challenge. How can you be better than a zero emission vehicle that is as good as my (EV) car? And I think we can do that. Just the way we could do it now, if we were doing the right things.
(And thank you Erika for sending me this link)
It will at least buy us some time, as adapting the suburbs and the transit system to fit together better will take longer than Mr Agassi says it will take to perform the switch from IC to EV.