A NEW phrase, “range anxiety”—the fear that an electric vehicle (EV) will run out of power before it reaches a charging-point—entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013. At the time a Nissan LEAF, the world’s best-selling EV, could travel only 120km between charges.
At night, there are few better places to be without electricity in America than Borrego Springs, California. The desert town, about 90 miles east of San Diego, is a star-gazer’s delight. It is dimly lit, with little street lighting and no traffic lights.
The government has given in to pressure to follow France in promising to set a date by which to ban diesel and petrol engines in cars and replace them with electric motors. It should have resisted, not because the ambition is wrong but because coercion could backfire.
ABOUT three-quarters of the way along one of the snaking production lines in Nissan’s Sunderland plant, a worker bolts fuel tanks into the chassis of countless Qashqais—the “urban crossover” SUVs which are the bulk of the factory’s output.
The world’s first fully autonomous, fully electric commercial cargo ship will be hitting Norway’s coastal waters as early as next year.
The UK government has outlined plans to prevent the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2040. The draft proposal stems from fears that pollution is rising and air quality continues to get worse, which may eventually become a serious risk to public health.
ELON MUSK IS the closest thing this world has to a real-life Tony Stark. He builds cool cars and rockets and tunneling machines. He wants to fire people through pneumatic tubes.
WITH THE PRODUCTION of Tesla’s mass-market Model 3 now underway, and first deliveries due on Friday, electric cars are about to hit the mainstream. For people driving EVs, it means a raft of changes.
A WIDELY read cover story on the impact of global warming in this week’s New York magazine starts ominously: “It is, I promise, worse than you think.”
NOT that long ago, the world wondered whether clean energy could survive without lavish government support. Now the question is how far it can spread. The number of electric vehicles, which breached 1m in 2015, last year reached 2m.
Urbanisation has been a geopolitical fact of life since the industrial revolution. As the centres of wealth creation switched from the fields to factories, so too those seeking employment upped sticks and settled in increasingly urbanised areas.