Imagining a World of Electric Cars
Monday, December 15, 2008
Tom Fudge: Global warming is such a huge problem with such huge consequences, it is tempting to view it with a feeling of despair. That's what Al Gore said in his famous movie, An Inconvenient Truth. But one technology seems to show some real promise of making a big dent in climate change. It's a technology that's developing quickly and whose use is easy for nearly anyone to imagine. I'm talking about the electric car. Car manufacturers are expected to put electric cars on the market within a couple of years. These wouldn't be fully electric cars, but plug-in hybrids, that would go for many miles on battery alone until the battery is depleted. Then the gas engine would kick in. The plug-in hybrid seems like a sure thing. But many questions about them remain. For instance, what would be the consequences if the entire fleet of American cars converting to plug-ins? Would the power grid be able to take it? And where would you plug it in, to charge it overnight, if you don't have a garage?
Mark Duvall, director of electronic transportation for the Electric Power Research Institute .
Paul Scott, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of Southern California.