June 26, 2016

Transportation Transition

Did you miss me?

CelloMom has been on hiatus for a few months, following an illness in the family. I've taken my brother's advice to heart, which is to be kind to myself, and decided to let the blog go for the duration. I'm going to re-start slowly. But there's plenty to be excited about.

Even before Volkswagen's disastrous gambit with the diesel engines, the world was already starting to shift toward electric vehicles.

Being CelloMom, I am not an early adopter: far from it. The growing pains of the early electric car made me nervous. But it's not quite so early any more, and as governments push for a fully electric national fleet by 2025 (e.g. Netherlands, Norway) or 2030 (Germany, India), and carmakers are responding by putting more EVs on dealer lots, the diesel to electric transition is now underway.

The growing EV range is erasing range anxiety, so even in suburban and small-town US, where distances are relatively large and diesel exhaust doesn't collect in a thick blanket of smog like it does in large cities, it will make increasingly more sense to switch to electric cars: quiet, clean, cheap to power, and with a kick that puts the torque from even a diesel engine to shame.

But the transportation transition is not just about the electric car. I'm sure you've seen the meme showing a parking lot shaded with a canopy of solar cells. The caption is, "Like and Share if you think every parking lot should look like this!"

This meme gets around.

I don't "Like", and I don't share. I think a climate-sensible parking lot should not look like that at all. It should have 2 to 24 parking spaces, all designated parking for the disabled. Large rows of bike parking. Plus a bus stop.

That's because everyone will get around either on their own physical power, on foot or on bike, on streets safe enough to do so, or on traditional forms of public transport l ike buses, or else by newer forms of shared transport like self-driving Uber-like cars that don't need the parking spots because they go on to the next customer after dropping you off at your destination. All powered by carbon-free renewable energy.

I mean, even the United States is waking up to the incredible potential of offshore wind. Having stopped drilling for oil off its Atlantic coast, the Obama administration has opened up a first patch of coastal water, between New York and New Jersey, for development of a wind farm.

The transportation transition is here, hand in hand with the energy transition. It's an exciting time.



You may also like:
1. Can you trust MPG specs?
2. Why VW diesel fix comes later to American drivers
3. How much horsepower do you need?


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