Where are all of the electric cars? Aren’t we in the era of new green designs and innovation on the environmental front? On the latest Tickell Talks, I took a look at the electric car movement and how it has been integrated into our society. With all of these new options within sight, why is it that electric cars still seem to be a far off, imaginary concept of the future?
My two guests this week are experts on green car technologies. Mariana Gerzanynch, the CEO of 350 Green, spoke with me about the new electric charging stations that are popping up all around the country. As most of us know, charging your electric car can consume a good part of your day making it very unappealing to the average driver. 350 Green has developed one way to make charging available to the public without compromising precious time or increasing driving distances. Teaming up with Walgreens and other major companies, 350 Green has started to install stations in locations that allow you to charge your car and take care of errands (read: consumerism) all at the same time- ultimately bringing the charger to the customer.
But, with every great green idea there are great challenges. Getting retailers on board with this idea is a long process filled with permits, utility coordinating, approval, etc. People tend to fear technologies that are new or relatively unknown making emotion the thing that stands between us and the revolution we need. There is some good news however. More and more cities are hopping on board with this idea, Chicago being the front-runner. With 280 stations in the city, a driver is never more than 2 miles away from a charging station. Come on California, now it is your turn! For more information about 350 Green or to learn where the nearest charging station is visit www.350green.com or email email@example.com.
My next expert was Jon LeSage who is the green editor of Automotive Digest. Writing for the auto industry for over 20 years, Jon gives us insight on what green auto trends are out there and what it will take for the EV numbers to rise. In 2011, out of the 12 million cars that were sold in the United States, only about 2.2% of them were hybrid. Considering that percentage, it begs the question, why aren’t people buying more eco-friendly cars? According to Jon, more people are seeking out green options however they have developed what is known as “range anxiety”. What is this you ask? Well it is defined as “the fear that a vehicle has insufficient range to reach its destination and would thus strand the vehicle’s occupants.” What people don’t realize is that technology has provided us with more than one option for an eco car. Today there are countless variations and hybrids of energy efficient vehicles, it is just a matter of picking one that is in the right price range and fits your lifestyle.
I asked Jon what he thought it would take to increase the number of EV investments and purchases. According to him, developing more attractive vehicles on the market mixed with more readily available resources for these cars and with the horrendous price of gas, we can hope for a more eco-car filled future. In a perfect world, we would have the Steve Jobs of vehicles appear and create the “iCar”, but that has yet to happen. Until then, visit www.jonlesage.com or look out for the next issue of Automotive Digest to learn about the latest efforts in green auto technology.