As a proponent and advocate for the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry, I am often asked why I am so passionate about seeing the end of gasoline as a motor fuel. While it is no secret, to those who know me, that I despise big oil companies and the corruption they breed around the world, I see a new age upon us. The time is now that we Americans stand up and yell “we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore”!!!!
Almost daily, I read the negativity and disinformation towards the electric and alternative fuel vehicle industry, and it is not unexpected. Times are changing, as Oil companies are loosing their power hold on the world, Automobile companies are going under, and on our level, We feel that we are betraying our love affair with the automobile. While I have no sympathy for the Oil Companies and Auto manufacturers, I too must admit that I still have a special place in my heart for an old fashioned, V-8 powered, American made Hot Rod. As American men, this is a part of what we are!
When our fathers and grandfathers returned from WWII, It was a new era of American ingenuity and pride. With time on their hands and very little money, their imaginations ran wild. It wasn’t long until they were stripping down model A’s, Boring and stroking flatheads, and burning up highways all over America. The 1950’s brought us rock and roll, teen rebellion, and the Hot Rod. It is truly one of the traditions that defined who we are!
Now is a time for us to move on to the next stage of our love affair with the American Hot Rod, and it is of the Electric Powered type! Before I go any further, there are six facts that we really need to accept:
- The Planet is in trouble: Pollution is at an all time high, the ice caps are melting, and climate change is a stark reality; we are really going to be screwed unless we change our ways. We must give up carbon based fuels!!
- The Technology is available now: There are many component suppliers for Lithium Battery systems, DC Motors, Drives, and Computerized control systems for the average intelligence car builder. With ingenuity and high school level engineering skills, anyone can build a car that will go 100+ miles per charge while performing like a I.C.E. car; you just have to get the vehicle weight reduced sufficiently to allow for battery weight.
- Electricity is cheaper to produce: Energy is created by wind, solar, Hydro and Natural Gas, and changes state easily and efficiently directly into usable electricity that is easy to transferred to the consumer via the power grid.
- The Battery technology is available: Tesla proved this; It is a matter of creating enough payload space and custom building your battery packs to fit the space. There are many suppliers worldwide that carry the main components- you just have to use your ingenuity to build a battery array suitable for the vehicle you are building.
- Gasoline is an expensive motor fuel: Petroleum, while it has its place in chemical production, is a lousy motor fuel. It is expensive in that Oil companies must find it, drill for it, refine it, transport it, and pump it into your car. We won’t even go into the Geo-political and environmental impacts of the oil industry! It, unlike electricity, is a limited non-renewable resource.
- Natural gas is clean and plentiful: Although electric cars are a close reality for commuter and family vehicles, the technology is not yet advanced enough for moving full size and freight trucks. DOT approved Conversion kits are available from many companies online, and are very affordable. The con, however, is the availability of compressed Natural gas is limited to state and fleet vehicles.
It is time that we go to the drawing board and do what Americans do best: Innovate! The best cars aren’t built in factories. They are built in garages by people who weld, cut, fit, and paint. This time is now, because we all know Detroit is not going to do it. It’s up to us to build the next generation of motorcar:
Because the fate of the world depends on it!