Electric cars are about so much more than eliminating tailpipe emissions. Electric cars also mean a world that can transition from fuels we burn, to fuels we capture. Envision Solar CEO Desmond Wheatley gave this TED talk nearly three years ago on the electrification of transportation, but all of what he says still holds true today.
Desmond takes nearly ten minutes to finally get to his main talking point, so if you want to skip the first ten minutes of the video, you’re not missing much except a few good lawyer jokes. His point is this; for the first time in human history, we have the technology to capture and create energy without actually having to destroy anything. And he’s absolutely right.
Desmond talks about the unfortunate human reality that many times people don’t make positive changes for a better society until they’re forced to. But he believes the time is right, the money is there, and the collective will can be harnessed to transform America, and the world, into a place powered entirely by sustainable energy. And at the heart of this plan is the electrification of transportation, using “solar trees” in parking lots to power plug-in cars. Envision Solar unveiled its EV ERC mobile solar-powered car charging station back in 2013, and it reported last fall more than $2 million in orders for its mobile charger.
If we can power cars with the sun, and use those same cars to store energy for homes (much as Elon Musk is now trying to do), we could solve so many problems, from poor air quality to production lost from grid blackouts. If you’ve got the time, give this TED talk a listen; it might be ancient by Internet standards, but it definitely will make you think about just how much capital is being wasted responding, rather than resolving, our world’s energy woes.