Is buying an electric car solving the issues urgently demanding society’s attention?

Do we want a car that burns a different fuel?  Or do we want to vastly improve the world around us?

Some of us want to do the latter.  Some of us recognize that the ills our society faces is much more than just changing one kind of car for another.

Back in the late 90’s when I first got interested in electric cars, I lived about 35 miles from my job.  In the best of circumstances that means a 40+ minute commute each way, a bit long but not too bad.  But the commute went through some of the most crowded traffic corridors in the SF Bay Area, meaning I had a lot of time each day sitting in traffic that’s going 10 miles/hr and backed up for miles and miles.

I had this realization sitting in the car that changing out these cars for electric cars won’t solve for problems like gridlock.  It’ll just mean that when we’re stuck in gridlock, that the air won’t be poisonous.  While that’s important, gridlock is a seriously bad problem.  The cure for gridlock is mass transit, and walkable cities, not electric cars.

Open the door to the Tesla Destination Charger network using these Tesla-J1772 adapters

Sponsored

I wrote a set of blog posts last summer about the value of walkable cities, local food, etc.

In any case, the following video is from Ford and tries to connect with the meta issues.  It shows a woman who’s apparently one of the urban agriculture entrepreneurs in Detroit.  It shows her discussing the value of local food production – and I really love what she has to say.

It ends with her getting ready to drive a Ford C-MAX Energi and talking about choosing a car that fits the ideals she has for protecting the planet.

But – again, is changing out one kind of car for another kind of car the real solution we all need?

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

Leave a Reply