Electric Cars Begin to Earn Credible Look as an Alternative
Gary, Tonya, Nation's Cities Weekly
Imagine 3 billion cars on the road around the world. According to Daniel Sperling, author of Future Drive: Electric Vehicles and Sustainable Transportation, by the year 2050, this will be the case if present trends continue. That's approximately 20 cars per 100 people. Imagine also the amount of pollution that will be emitted into the atmosphere, which researchers say alters the Earth's climate, creating the greenhouse effect.
There have been many efforts introduced by the federal government to "suppress the use of cars" in order to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other pollutants enveloping the air around our planet. Everything from legislation such as the Clean Air Act and ISTEA to developing alternative fuels, urging the public to use mass transit systems, walk, bicycle, carpool and telecommute, have been tried, but with little success.
In 1990, along came a new mandate to provide a remedy for this situation. The California Air Resources Board (CARB), in cooperation with a group of automotive and technology companies developed the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate. This program requires that a "specified percentage of manufacturers' sales consist of ZEVs. Other states that have adopted the California ZEV mandate include New York and Massachusetts, and it is being considered by others. The ZEV mandate will be in effect in 1998 in California and elsewhere later.
Advantages to the inclusion of electric vehicles into our combustible society include:
* it is an option deemed the best transportation option available, therefore, likely to receive substantial government support;
* electric vehicles will be supported by electric utilities because they will make use of their idle capacity;
* electric vehicles do not require a new fuel distribution network as do vehicles that operate on alternative fuels such as methanol. …