Is It Time To Get Serious About Electric Cars ?

Following VW’ scandal, here is Jean-Louis Gassée on a necessary transition :

Filling up the cars as described represents 1.3 terawatts pulsing through the grid to the electric filling stations. The Syracuse University page pegs the entire US electric supply at about 1 terawatt. Again, I’m not vouching for exact numbers, just the orders of magnitude. Now, add an uncomfortable twist to those numbers: Transmission loss in the electric grid is more than 7%; compare this to the less than .1% for the transportation and evaporation of gasoline.

The result is that we have more than just the science problem of replacing gasoline with electric energy storage. We also face an infrastructure challenge to, first, generate the electricity and, second, transport it to the filling stations at home or on roadsides. It will take a very long time, huge amounts of money, and interesting politics to solve these two problems. And, while I’m not a diehard GM fan, it should (but won’t) kill the “General Motors killed the electric car” myth.

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