I was living in Marin County in 2006 when the documentary “Who killed the electric car” came out and was a big hit with many of our neighbors. That was not so much the case in our house. With both my wife Athena and I working in the energy industry while living in the center of the universe for liberal thinking this was hardly the first disconnect between us and the rest of the street.
This was a golden time for environmentally related documentaries. Anyone know what other famous environmental flick hit theaters that year? None other than “An Inconvenient Truth” from the inventor of the internet himself Al Gore.
I bring up these two documentaries because they both highlight the somewhat surprising truth about electric cars, both now and in the future. First of all I don’t know who killed the electric car, but apparently they didn’t yet know about zombies and The Walking Dead. Nope no head shot there, because the electric car is back, way back, and just like those lovable zombies they are spreading like mad.
Don’t believe me, think the unaffordable Telsa is the only game in town? Hardly. Every automaker is now pursuing electric cars, most with a fairly broad reaching plan of models that will cover not just small compacts but every type of auto they make. For one of the best reviews of electrification visit Ford’s website on “Electrification: A Closer Look.”
Gasoline demand in the US peaked in 2007, it has declined every year since, and we are just getting started. The fuel economy of our gasoline cars is set to more than double in the next 10 years. On top of that even Exxon is predicting electric cars will be 50% of the fleet in the next 30 years. So is gasoline dead, nope, it too will be zombie like for many decades to come, because a whole lot of those electric cars are still going to fill up on good old petrol.
What? Didn’t you just say we’d be driving electric cars? Yes, but I didn’t say how you would be obtaining the electricity. Most will plug in, but many will also generate those electrons onboard. Yes some will use fuel cells, some will use natural gas in some form, but a whole lot of them will still use gasoline to power a generator that will keep those batteries, flywheels, or capacitors full of energy for long range driving.