I am all for new technology, I might not always know how to use it but if it makes life easier and a better environment which we can all live in then yes it is a good thing. However as car makers rush towards the electric highway converting their cars to this cleaner way of running things, it strikes me that electric really is just a quick plug in solution but in reality is nothing more than a stop gap?
Take a plaster on a cut, it is just a temporary measure while the cut underneath heals, the real work is not done by the plaster but in fact by what is going on underneath and in a way could it be electric vehicles are the same? Are they just the plaster helping out but actually we need something else to do the healing? Electric cars can be cleaner from a driving point of view, but what of the source of the electric? I saw a picture a few weeks ago taken at a Tesla dealer, the cars where plugged in charging but the photographer followed the electric cable round the back of the dealer to find this was plugged into a generator run off diesel?! Is this not what electric cars are effectively doing? What of the lithium for the batteries, this comes from mining and it is an expensive procedure and will the tools doing the mining be electric, erm no, and it can be a lengthy process, after all a single electric vehicle requires as much lithium as 10,000 mobile phones.
Is hydrogen the answer then? Some fleet vehicle makers are turning to hydrogen as this not only can be available at a local fuel station to fill up but can offer far more range than an electric vehicle. Major oil companies such as Shell and Total are backing hydrogen, and some car makers including Mercedes and Hyundai are bringing out their hydrogen cars as they believe it has more of a long term future than electric, are they right?
From a technological point of view it is interesting times as all this new tech is tried and tested, I just hope the car makers choose the right road to get on, to power tomorrows cars and that we don’t end up doing more harm than good in the rush to get there.