I originally wrote this post in 2010, after speaking with Bill O’Driscoll of the Pittsburgh City Paper for an article he was writing about electric vehicles. My perspective from 11 years ago is as accurate today as it was when first published.
I had a slightly different take than EV enthusiasts: changing the source that powers a large vehicle does not begin to address the rest of the problems caused by developing our cities and countries around privately-owned vehicles.
“An electric car is “still a multi-ton vehicle that requires a lot of money and resources from all over the world to produce,” notes Lolly Walsh. Walsh, a staffer for advocacy group Bike Pittsburgh, speaks as part of the loose-knit international Car Free Network. “If we just develop a different type of car… it’s just going to push back any change that we need to make.”
As I’ve said before, we should invest in excellent public transportation that is:
Investing in superb public transportation is the way to go to make transportation accessible to everyone. The public transportation that we have in the US is basically an insult — no wonder so many people will do almost anything to avoid it.
Making public transportation spectacular is a much more economical and environmentally-friendly lift than ignoring all the other pitfalls of electric vehicles.