don’t buy an electric car today, invent clean power generation tomorrow

Having a Tesla is all the rage around here – yes, I myself even put down a deposit on a Cybertruck – less for the fact that it’s electric and more for the fact that it looks great. If you ask me, most car manufacturers make extremely boring, same-old-same-old cars.

It’s the future; people make futuristic cars (and homes) already. I like the look of the Cybertruck first, but I am less happy about the motive power. What is my issue? It’s about responsibility.

With an internal combustion engine,  the energy is generated right there in the car. We know exactly where the energy is generated and how the energy is generated. In fact, the internal combustion engine is one of the most efficient generators of energy that humans have ever invented.

With an electric vehicle, the energy is stored and released. However, we have no idea where that energy has been generated.

Was it generated cleanly (one assumes that the main reason people are buying electric vehicles is due to their lesser effect when it comes to climate change, no?), or was it generated in a coal-fired plant? You have no idea where your electricity is coming from – so how do you know that you are combatting climate change by buying an electric vehicle? I’m not even going to discuss the e-waste and other battery disposal issues once these cars near their end-of-life.

Once again, the problem is short-term thinking. Electric vehicles don’t solve the problem; they pass the responsibility to others (might be a good description of many things at this point. no?).

No, what we really need is some future thinking on a better way to propel our 200 or so pound bulks, plus our groceries, without having to fob off our energy generation needs on someone else. We need new thinking in the hydrogen cell space, or the micro-nuclear-reactor space, or even the cold fusion space (whatever happened to that?).

Power generation is a hugely important space that we need more bright minds and startups working in. Focusing on electricity is a short-term solution that only addresses the symptom, not the disease.

Many countries around the world and many states are already using and generating power using safe nuclear plants. I vividly recall reading science fiction in my youth which talked about nuclear-powered cars and motorcycles – what we need right now is that kind of vision – how can we solve the problem instead of just passing it on? Solving the energy generation problem seems to be a much more interesting pursuit than simply buying an electric vehicle.

Instead of buying an electric car today, use your bright brain to envision clean, effective power generation tomorrow.

If you really want to take charge of reducing the amount of CO2, then trade in that truck for a much smaller car, lighter and with a lower displacement. They are making 3-cylinder engines now. Opt for something with a manual transmission and learn how to drive it – that will save you a ton of CO2 and rocket your MPG. Even better – learn how to ride and buy a motorcycle or a scooter – way less gas and way fewer emissions. For the ultimate ride – give up your car completely and buy a decent bike – with most of us working from home, it might be all you need.

The final analysis – instead of jumping on the bandwagon and buying an electric vehicle because it’s what everyone else is doing – think it through, then make a more rational choice based on what you are trying to do. Or better yet, go on and invent that nuclear-powered car.


Like This Post?

Join 11,449 professionals. Get the whitepaper “Try This at Work: 18 Ideation Exercises” and new content weekly.


Pin It on Pinterest