The US Department of Energy and the Obama administration of released a plan to get 1 million electric vehicles by 2015
I have proposed for lightweight (electric bikes and trike pod cars). It will be a cheaper and faster rollout. Cheaper since there would be less subsidy per vehicle. Also, besides subsidy carrots there would be some road toll (sticks) that would provide revenue to local or federal governments.
My proposed scheme can be introduced city by city and does not require a national program.
The plan would be to give away or heavily subsidize folding electric bikes, scooters, and lightweight pod cars that ideally cost less than $1000. This will be more affordable than $6000 subsidies for part of a hybrid. Lightweight (less than 150 pound) electric vehicles will use 20 to one hundred times less metal and batteries than an electric car. Mass deployment would not need to wait for new batteries to be developed and scaled up to supply tens of millions of cars.
People have raised issues about weather, government giveaways and government control and personal freedom.
1. My idea is not crazy – government gives the use of almost free stuff all the time – buses and trains assets are paid for by the government and have heavily subsidized usage
2. Restrictions on choice happen all the time. Pedestrian only or cyclist only roads or carpool only lanes and odd/even days for going into downtown areas
3. Enclosed light electric vehicles can protect from the elements and adding greater comfort can be done with some increases in cost and weight
4. people can still have the option of driving existing cars and trucks but pay the extra costs. There are currently costs of air pollution and higher road maintenance associated with existing cars and trucks which end up going to general tax funds and are not linked based on usage.
1. Costs – government is already spending and plans to spend a lot more on electrifying vehicles Obama/DOE are looking to spend a lot of money to get the shift to electric cars to happen faster. Many billions each year
2. California has a roadmap to get to all electric cars by 2050. How much choice will there really be over the next few decades on having or not having an electric vehicle?
3. California and other places already are limiting what you can drive. The rules that currently ban diesel cars that are sold in europe and have fuel efficiency approaching 80 mpg
4. There are already road tolls (particularly around boston and NY)
5. There are odd/even days that determine when you can or cannot drive into Washington DC
6. I have video and pictures of fully enclosed bikes, scooters, trikes and cars that are ultralight and can operate in cold and hot weather
7. In my plan, people can keep driving their cars and trucks but they have to pay more tolls
8. Governments already pay for public transportation buses and trains. This is a different form of that
9. Government has subsidizes up to $7500 per vehicle
10. There are parts of cities that are pedestrian or cyclist only
I am putting together what would be effective for enabling efficient and cleaner and cheaper commuting. There is no need to have your commute in a vehicles that weighs 2 tons. Climate control, safety, comfort, speed can be had in a smaller vehicle that uses ten to one hundred times less power and weight.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.