Electric cars vehicles silent as bicycles; change the world. The shift to hybrid vehicles is already under way among manufacturers.
Volvo has announced it will make no purely petrol-engined cars after 2019. The British government expects the all-electric future to arrive by 2040.
Electric cars vehicles silent as bicycles; change the world
Tesla has just started selling its first electric car aimed squarely at the middle classes.
The Tesla 3 sells for $35,000 in the US, and 400,000 people have put down a small, refundable deposit towards one.
The electric cars of the future will be so thoroughly equipped with sensors and reaction mechanisms that they will never hit anyone.
The company hopes to sell half a million more next year.
Elon Musk, the company’s founder, as a salesman, engineer, and a man able to get the most out his factory workers and the governments he deals with.
The share price suggests that the company is bigger than Ford, though it makes a tiny fraction of the number of cars and most years loses enormous sums of money.
The private car is – like the smartphone – a device of immense practical help and economic significance.
But at the same time a theatre for myths of unattainable self-fulfilment.
In a car advertisement is traffic, even though that is the element in which drivers spend their lives.
Every single driver in a traffic jam is trying to escape from it, yet it is the inevitable consequence of mass car ownership.
Electric cars vehicles silent as bicycles; change the world.
The sleek and swift electric car is at one level merely the most contemporary fantasy of autonomy and power.
But it might also disrupt our exterior landscapes nearly as much as the fossil fuel-engined car did in the last century.
Electrical cars would of course pollute far less than fossil fuel-driven ones; instead of oil reserves.
The rarest materials for batteries would make undeserving despots and their dynasties fantastically rich.
Petrol stations would disappear. The air in cities would once more be breathable and their streets as quiet as those of Venice.
Cars that were as silent as bicycles would still be as dangerous as they are now to anyone they hit without audible warning.
Traffic jams will be abolished only when the private car becomes a public utility.
What then will happen to our fantasies of independence? We’ll all have to take to electrically powered bicycles.