Think back to the 1980s when the cell phone was first introduced as a practical device. It was touted by many as a toy for the rich. Something that nobody would ever find a use for. Eventually they caught on and became popular. The more people bought into them, the more widespread they became. The cell phone just got smaller and smaller. The batteries in the first cell phones where the size and weight of a brick. Battery technology matured and made the devices more powerful and the batteries got smaller and smaller. Fast forward to today, everyone has a smart phone. Some of us no longer waste our time with land lines. The cell phone has become so powerful and so small, no one could have ever seen what we would be doing with our cell phones today.
Now comes the electric car. Some say, ” Oh great, here we go again”. But this time it is different. This time we have the battery technology available to us that made the cell phone a viable product. These same batteries are now being rethought and used in automotive applications. We have new electric cars on the road now with enough range to do all of the driving 95% of us do on a daily basis. The battery technology that is being researched in labs right now is causing improvements in the energy density of batteries almost on a daily basis. By 2020 we will easily have electric cars that are affordable and have ranges in the 500 mile range. The Tesla Model S goes on sale this year and its top line model claims a 300 mile range. When the range equals or exceeds the range of a typical gasoline engined car, everyone will start wanting them instead. The next generation Nissan Leaf will have inductive charging. In other words, you just drive your car into your parking spot, and it automatically starts charging without you needing to do anything. Particularly when everyone finds out their neighbor runs 100 miles on about 3 dollars in electricicy. Compare that to your typical gasoline car.
Another thing to realize is that the electric car can solve many of our societle problems we now face. It is a proven fact that they are much cleaner than other forms of propulsion used in cars. They are 4 times more efficient that a piston engined car. They reduce our dependance on foriegn sources of petroleum and it is now said that an electric car will go farther on the electricity it takes to produce a gallon of gasoline than the gasoline car will go on that gallon. So more power plants are not nessecary.
The next thing that will happen is the maintenance issue. As more people buy these cars, more of their family, friends and neighbors will realize how simplistic the full electric car realiy is. No matter how complicated they make it sound, if it doesn’t have a gasoline motor, It may only have a couple of moving parts. They all consist of a battery pack, computer controller/inverter, charger and a motor. In many cases the motor is connected right to the axles differential. They don’t even have a transmision to speak of. People will realize that they will require almost no maintenance at all and the batteries may last upward of 15 years or more. The cars will be able to be driven for not years before needing costly maintenance but possibly tens of years. Once people find out how much better these cars are than a liquid fueled car, they will choose them over the old antiquated technology. Eventually 20 years or so from now, you will not be able to buy a car with a piston engine. Nobody will want one.
At some point in the future, this era will be seen much like the begining of the 20th century when the gasoline engine took over and put the electric and steam cars out to pasture then. With all of the mobile electronic devices we have now, not to mention the fact that the entire nation is now electrified unlike the begining of the 20th century, electricity is more widely used than it once was. Twenty years from now, we will all wonder how we got along so well with such antique technology.