>Imagine an MTA bus which whirrs silently down Broadway, instead of the roar and rumble and squeaks we now associate with public transportation. Instead of belching diesel into the air, this bus doesn’t even have a tailpipe.

They already exist in Shanghai, China.

Imagine whisper-quiet police patrol cars, able to accelerate from zero to 60 in a matter of seconds. You’ll find them in Hong Kong and Japan.

Imagine grabbing a taxi at the Nashville airport after a long day’s travel. Your taxi is whisper quiet, and its electronic battery is fully charged, because it was swapped out for a fresh one between fares. They already do that in Japan.

The change is coming. Like it or not, it is. During the Bush years we took a huge step back, as if someone had pushed the rewind button and America shot back in time to 1982. Big Oil wants us hooked to that IV, GM didn’t really want to sell the EV1, the dealerships didn’t want to lose out on all that oil change money.

But progress happens, folks. You can’t stop it. You can’t really even slow it. We’ve picked up where we left off after the eight years we lost under the thumb of the oil barons.

Because whether we take part in it or not, the world is changing. Germany wants 1 million electric cars by 2020.

Spain aims to achieve that goal by 2014, and they are getting a hefty assist from Ford.

Change is coming. The (electric) train is leaving the station. Get on board, nation, or be left behind.

TVA is on board:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority, the Electric Power Research Institute and Oak Ridge National Laboratory Friday announced that they will test and deploy solar-assisted charging stations for electric vehicles across the state of Tennessee as part of one of the largest electric transportation projects in U.S. history.

The revolution is happening. Get with it, or get rolled under the wheels of that whisper-quiet electric bus.


Filed under electric car, energy future, environment

7 responses to “>Imagine

  1. >They'll have to pry my in-line four overbored Suzuki GS1100 from my cold dead hands. 37North

  2. >And what do we need to power said vehicles? Electricity. Where to we get that? Mainly from coal and petroleum products.Not exactly very "green"….

  3. >Mike TVA's charging stations are solar. No reason at all why we can't ramp up the solar. No reason at all why every rooftop, church roof, school building, shopping center, you name it doesn't have solar panels. We could do that in a matter of months. No reason at all why we don't have more wind farms on line. None at all … except for negative Nellies telling us we "need" coal and oil. No, we don't. And you know what? It's already happening, right here in Nashville.It's already happening.It's already happening.Get on board or be left behind, buddy.

  4. >I wonder if there are safety concerns associated with large, powerful vehicles humming along almost noiselessly. One marketing opportunity would be to record and electronically manipulate and process the sounds of gasoline-powered motor vehicles to shift gears, accelerate or decelerate etc. It could be like a ringtone. I could buy a Mercedes 450S sound package for my vehicle. Sports car enthusiasts could choose between the classic sounds of Triumph, MG or Fiat. Buses could use a bigger sound to warn pedestrians, bicycles and drivers to their approach.

  5. Jim

    >I wonder how long it takes to "fill up" your car at one of these charging stations? How far can a car travel on a single charge?

  6. >From the NY Times blog.The Leaf has a 100-mile cruising range and a top speed of 90 miles an hour with its 90-kilowatt battery pack and 80-kilowatt electric motor. A charge from a 220-volt outlet takes eight hours, but 14 hours from standard 110. (It’s also equipped for 26-minute, 480-volt fast charging.) The Leaf has a relatively small 24-kilowatt-hour battery pack (stored under the floor), and Mr. Perry said the downsizing was possible because of the pack’s lithium-ion and manganese battery chemistry. “We get twice the energy density out of half the size and weight,” he said. The battery pack is expensive, though, about $10,000 a car, according to Business Week.The 480V fast charge is interesting. But 100 miles is a very short cruising range.

  7. >As long as people are willing to believe that the "price" of a gallon of gasoline or a kilowatt of energy derived from fossil fuel or nuclear energy is what they see on their bill they will remain convinced that solar, wind, geothermal and hydro are "too expensive".I can't wait to hear how much that "cheap oil" blowout is going to cost us.