Having just watched Chris Blaine’s “Who Killed the Electric Car?” on freedocumentaries.com, I’ve got a fun idea.
Based on the theories put forth in the documentary, the socio-political-economic situation of America is too wrapped up in profit to make a commercially viable vehicle built by a major domestic company. As the film lays out, either through poorly conducted marketing or public near-sightedness, electric cars are not viable as profitable products. By viewing the influence of Big Oil, we see that financial push from the large incumbent of energy is too strong to defeat in a market scenario. Then, when looking at the nature of the car company itself, a lack of constantly replaced parts reduces the financial incentive to produce such a vehicle. When looking at the nature of both the local and national government, the desire of the people, both rich and poor, allows the first three issues to show that government influence on a profitable company will not help create a more efficient car, especially with a four to eight year turnover in government policy creating inconsistencies. As a profit driven endeavor, the electric car won’t work for an American market.
The solution, then, for an American made electric car, is to create a not-for-profit company. This company, through donations, links to educational institutions, constant exposure, and creative problem solving, would generate a commercially competitive electric vehicle that is made without regard to the company’s profit. Thus, the company would be driven on the power of an idea rather than on the promise of increased profits over time.
The issue with only making a car leaves the question of fueling stations. This initiative needs to be taken in cities where the environment is a priority. Using these as starting cities, the company could make contracts with local businesses -not necessarily gas stations, but parking garages, lots, and restaurants – to expand the range of recharging facilities. Working with various industries increases the odds of support that cannot easily be bought – or rather, stretches thin the influence of large companies opposing such business. As certain cities expand in their influence with a short distance car, more cities can be brought in, longer distance battery models sold, and the idea of the electric car industry expanded.
The benefit, even to detractors of the electric car, would be a city by city case study where the efficiency both of the product and the business of the electric car could be critically studied.
This company would be most effected by state and federal policy as a not-for-profit, so lobbying from large corporations would threaten it the most.
However, if a desirable conversion for a business model was needed, one needs look no further than the computer industry. These products operate on an electric system and have constant profit and advancement. The industry makes large profits continuously and continues to grow and expand. Why should an electric car industry be any different from the computer industry?
Tying into an earlier post, the potential of wireless charging makes the electric car that much more viable. If the ability to charge the car becomes wireless as well, we’d have a car that charges as it travels, removing the fear of loss of fuel in suburban towns and cities.
Anyway, that’s my response to the documentary “Who Killed The Electric Car?” I think the more important question is: how can it brought back to stay?