Battlepanda: More on EVs


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Friday, February 03, 2006

More on EVs

Wow. Matt retracted his contention that electric vehicle would not help the environment really quickly (after reading this excellent post by John). That's so reasonable, it's positively unblogger-like. There are still some naysayers in the comment threads though. To them I would say this: when we think about changes we should make to our world, we always have to contemplate a way from here to there. No point pushing bicycles as the solution when people already live in the exburbs, for instance. The beauty about electric vehicles is how easily they can integrate into our current infrastructure and lifestyle. By encouraging a switch to electric vehicles, not only are we realizing immediate savings on efficiency, we are opening the door for a lot of further gains in the future because so many things can be used to generate electricity. In the short run, EVs takes care of a lot of immediate problems -- it ameliorates our dependence on oil, it makes the air where most people live much cleaner, it sops up the excess capacity of power stations which can't be switched off by charging might not be the entire answer, but what's there not to love?

The real question is, why won't they just stick a plug on the Prius already to give owners the option of charging up their vehicle from the grid if and when they choose? I'm not too sure on the engineering aspect of it, but I suspect the resistance comes more from the marketing department. There is a powerful perceptionthat any electric-powered car must be a dinky little toy rather than a serious vehicle. This is something that marketers of hybrid vehicles had to fight long and hard to overcome. Putting a plug on the car could undo all that work of convincing people that a hybrid car is not an electric car. Perhaps as people get more used to hybrids and the "brand" is strong enough, they can start giving people the option of plugging their car into the grid without customers running the the other way screaming "it's a car, not an appliance!"