Photo: Tennessee Valley Authority
The LA Auto Show is back, and if it’s any indication of where the automobile industry is headed, look no further than the electric vehicle. Manufacturerers are trending toward the hybrid/electric vehicle market, seemingly addressing the shift in consumer demand toward greener, cleaner, more fuel efficient automobiles. The Chevy Volt appears to be the current “pace car,” walking away with various awards, including car of the year at this year’s auto show. But, with the abundance of electric vehicles hitting the showroom floor, isn’t it time all transportation goes electric?
Take engineers in the Canadian province of Quebec who recently unveiled a Sustainable Mobility Blueprint with an emphasis on moving toward an all-electric transportation system. The idea is that with all-electric automobiles, buses, and rail lines, Quebec will not only reduce its dependence on fossil fuel, but wil also reduce the possibility of an economic meltdown due to the rising cost of oil. Additionally, there are environmental benefits:
Electrifying transport, the source of 40 per cent of Quebec’s greenhouse-gas emissions, will help fight climate change and cut pollution that causes health problems.
As for the United States, promoting electrification may ultimately begin with the automobile. Consumer confidence in electric vehicles could pave the way for future momentum for an all-electric transportation system. With the expectation that there could be one billion automobiles on the road by 2020 it’s no surprise that electric cars are already worrying utility companies. Yet the question remains, as electric vehicles take off, will the rest of our transportation follow?