To Preserve Dangerous Dogma Away, The CleanTech Neighborhood Wants To Often Problem Preconceptions

“Problem your preconceptions, or they’ll problem you.”
—An Previous Vulcan Proverb

One important factor in my work right here at CleanTechnica is to maintain a finger on the heartbeat of the EV scene. I can’t cowl every little thing, however fortunately, I’m solely a part of a group that does this. So, I watch sure facets of the business and its clients.

Like every group of individuals, we’ve got a shared tradition. Clearly, EV followers are going to assume EVs are higher than the opposite choices, even when for various causes. A few of us are in it for the setting. Others is likely to be in it as a result of we just like the torque or the quiet experience. Both manner, that assumption is likely one of the issues our group is constructed upon.

A few of these assumptions have turn into nearly canonized over time. In the event you converse your thoughts in a setting the place most individuals imagine one factor, and also you say the other of that, some individuals is not going to solely attempt to let you know why they assume you’re mistaken, however take what you stated personally. Even worse, individuals closely invested in sure firms (<cough>Tesla</cough>) will take criticism personally, as a result of it may have an effect on their livelihoods if perception within the firm crumbles.

On the identical time, although, I don’t assume I’m the neatest particular person on the planet, and I do know that I don’t know every little thing. My opinions on Tesla and different issues — they’re simply my opinions. I’ve my causes and my emotions that lead me to my opinions, and different individuals have their very own causes and emotions. So, once I focus on what I’m going to debate on this article and a few followup articles, I don’t wish to simply inform individuals what to consider our group’s assumptions.

What I wish to do on this article is lay out a few of the assumptions I generally see within the EV and cleantech world, and attempt to spark extra dialogue in the neighborhood about them. A few of our assumptions are there for good motive, and will stick round. Others won’t be as strong, or issues might have modified since all of us began believing that. When that’s the case, we most likely must revise or reject them.

Let’s check out just a few of them for additional dialogue.


This can be a widespread one, and it’s one which’s positively altering over time. 10–12 years in the past, any EV underneath round $70,000–$100,000 was going to both have a really quick vary or was going to have even shorter vary however with a gasoline engine to maintain you going. Nice examples of this have been the Nissan LEAF in comparison with the Chevrolet Volt. However, since that point, the worth of a battery EV with no ICE engine backing it up has gone down fairly a bit, and the infrastructure to assist EV charging has expanded to the purpose the place even the Chevy Bolt can go most locations, and that continues to enhance.

However, questions and circumstances might stay. Are there locations one may dwell or go to ceaselessly (largely rural) the place shopping for a BEV would nonetheless be a foul concept? Are there area of interest purposes, like weekend freeway towing, the place solely the rich can afford a truck with sufficient battery for the job? Will battery provides be sufficient for the speedy EV adoption we’d like?

Tesla Ought to Lead The EV Trade

Earlier than you scroll all the way down to the feedback to chew my butt about this one, take note I stated “ought to.” No one conversant in the business would doubt that Tesla at the moment leads it. The corporate is promoting probably the most BEVs, it has probably the most dependable charging infrastructure in america and another locations, and it’s nonetheless rising quick whereas everybody else continues to be at a a lot earlier level within the sport (except for some Chinese language firms).

The idea to problem and maintain or throw away right here is that Tesla ought to lead the business long-term. Would it not be more healthy to have a number of firms doing in addition to Tesla, or would it not be extra environment friendly if nearly everybody simply purchased a Tesla and let the “legacy” firms die off?

Even when Tesla doesn’t dominate the entire business long-term, management can even imply that different EV producers primarily construct Tesla clones. They might be dressed in another way to enchantment to completely different clients, but when everybody’s constructing a skateboard-platform EV with a easy inside and an enormous touchscreen, there’s actually nothing completely different taking place.

Autonomous Autos Are Going To Take Over

The idea right here is that, finally, people driving automobiles manually goes away, and will likely be changed by autonomous autos. If autonomous autos are far safer than guide driving, then governments might even ban guide driving sooner or later sooner or later.

A associated assumption is that non-public possession of automobiles will go away. Why personal a automotive and let it sit 22 hours a day when it could possibly be out giving different individuals rides when you’re doing one thing else? Or, why personal one in any respect, when you’ll be able to at all times get a automotive inside minutes?

Decentralized Photo voltaic and Battery Storage Will Redefine The Grid

The idea right here is that finally most households and companies could have photo voltaic on their rooftops and batteries inside to supply for many of their energy wants. This might make for a extra resilient energy grid that doesn’t depend on centralized power manufacturing and transmission that we’ve seen fail in each California and Texas over the previous few years.

Some causes to query this will embrace:

  • How will multi-family and dense city housing be a part of this?
  • Will poorer individuals and renters undergo and pay excessive costs on a failing grid whereas the center and higher class get pleasure from power safety?
  • Is it extra environment friendly to do centralized photo voltaic and storage tasks?

Photo voltaic Doesn’t Belong On Vehicles

Virtually each time I see Aptera or the now dormant Sono Sion program come up, I see quite a lot of EV followers say {that a} automotive’s roof is simply too small to supply a significant quantity of electrical energy. For small autos, this can be true, however this dialogue additionally extends to bigger autos like medium and heavy obligation vehicles, RVs, and autos that would assist a folding construction to generate extra energy. Micromobility, like e-bikes and kick scooters, together with bikes of all kinds, also needs to be part of this dialogue.

Some questions we have to ask:

  • Are we solely ready on higher know-how, or is it a foul concept it doesn’t matter what?
  • Is it appropriate for under sure sizes or varieties of autos?
  • Is that this know-how a great way to assist individuals with no entry to a charger at night time significantly contemplate an EV?

I determine these 5 assumptions which can be widespread within the cleantech group are loads to get began with, and will spur quite a lot of dialogue. If this dialogue is nice, I could comply with up on these particular person subjects and/or attempt to spur dialogue about extra assumptions, so positively be happy to share your personal.

I look ahead to seeing what all people thinks within the feedback and on social media about this!

Featured picture by Jennifer Sensiba


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