The car has arguably been both the best and the worst invention of the last 100 or so years. While it has allowed our cities to expand, our countries to patrol far off frontiers, and granting untold personal freedom to people around the world, it has also mostly ruined all those said cities with traffic jams, allowed those countries to mobilize for war in a massive manner, and locked people into tiny personal bubbles that can’t communicate well and cause carnage on the roads.
While the car started off as steam powered, and then electric, it moved quickly through diesel as a propellant and then onto petrol, where it has stayed pretty much king of the fuel line until recently. Diesel seems to be making a comeback now, selling massively in Europe and now in the US too. But there is an alternative that’s coming soon: Electric cars.
While we welcome the use of electric cars to lessen the levels of pollution in our city, if we replaced all the petrol and diesel cars in the city with electric cars, would we be any better off? There are still going to be just 1 or 2 persons per car, as most of the 4 seater cars carry (at least the Smart car is honestly portraying the size of car needed, with just 2 seats). If our cars were smaller, it doesn’t mean that we can do with less tarmac (although the footpaths could do with being enlarged a little). Perhaps what is needed more is electric trains and electric buses, to lower the total traffic load on the road. Perhaps then more people will want to move into the city.