Jul 25 2016

Response: Tesla’s New Master Plan and the Future of Electric Cars

Published by under Student blog entries

 

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(Source: Bob Rhodes, 2014, Flickr)

As Will outlined in his blog post¬†Tesla’s New Master Plan and the Future of Electric Cars,¬†Elon Musk has been successful in implementing his four step plan to further the electric car industry. Musk’s plan may be brilliant, and the benefits could even reach further than most anticipated. Of course, there are some social and practical challenges that must be overcome before everyone is cruising in their own electric cars.

The expansion of electric vehicles has the obvious benefit of decreasing the air pollution that come from exhaust pipes. Some argue that everyone driving electric cars isn’t the saving grace if much of the electricity is being generated from fossil fuels. Though this must be taken into consideration when considering Tesla’s success, it is important to note that the burning of fossil fuels in a car is far less efficient than doing so at utility scales.

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Move over gas stations — make way for charging stations. (Source: Robert Wertheimer, 2008, Flickr)

Tesla’s electric cars will be most effective when used in conjunction with other sustainable technologies. For example, an electric car could be used as an energy-storing device for a home fitted with renewable technologies like solar or geothermal. The electric car could harness the excess energy created by residential installations or reduce demand during peak-demand by charging at night.

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Electric vehicles can be utilized as energy storage. (Source: Ching Leemun, 2012, Flickr)

This reality may be several years away, but progressive legislation could speed up the process. Places like California are already paving the way to sustainable growth and development. The states cap and trade system has pushed energy providers to invest in cleaner technologies. Though funding may be running out, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program helped put thousands of new electric cars on the road. Businesses have economic incentives to build charging stations with the tax credit that California provides.

The list of policies that favor green technology is extensive, but many states are still stuck in the climate change debate. If President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is able to move forward, perhaps electric vehicles could be a jumping off point for many state carbon reduction plans.

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