Next month, the Nissan Leaf (Leading Environmental-friendly
Affordable Family) car will be delivered to the US market. Next year, GM will
deliver its 100% electric Volt to their dealers. These new cars demonstrate
the change that’s needed to wean our society from fossil fuels. Imagine never
needing to fill up at a gas station again!
This reduces the need for
imported oil, reduces geopolitical tensions, and reduces carbon dioxide
emissions. This leap in technology is an example of Buckminster Fuller’s
“You never change things by fighting existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
In this graphic of US CO2 emissions, you can clearly see
that electricity generation and transportation are the two main culprits. Furthermore,
coal dominates power production while petroleum powers our vehicles. Electric
cars will reduce the need for petroleum in transport – but cars must be powered
during the evening (for most cars) from a grid that uses fossil fuels.
So, are we just moving the pollution from the tailpipe to
the smokestacks of the utility? It depends. You’ll see in the attached
Life Cycle Assessment that an EV powered from a coal plant pollutes the same as
a gasoline car, while an EV powered from hydro/solar/wind reduces the impact by
Here is a look into our future. Almost everyone
will get a new or used car in the next decade, and we now have a choice to
make. As automakers deliver these Electric Vehicles, Hybrids and Plug-in
Hybrids – test drive one for yourself or for your company. This is a design
revolution that we can each participate in and change the world for the better
as a result.
In partnership for the planet,