Monday, August 03, 2009

How About Free Car Insurance?

Nissan is about to launch the first, mass-produced all-electric car, the Leaf. It's lithium-ion batteries drive the car at speeds up to 90 mph at a nominal range of 100 miles. Recharging takes half an hour on a high-capacity recharger or about 8-hours one a home, 200-volt charger.

For most of us, the Leaf would meet most of our driving needs. Most but not all. It won't get you to medium-range destinations - and back. Most of us want to have that medium-range capability but maybe, just maybe, our provincial governments can solve the dilemma.

How about encouraging drivers to go electric by giving them an incentive that allows them to keep their gasoline-fueled vehicle without having to double up on their insurance and licensing expenses? Perhaps we need a "dual-fuel" license plate that can be easily switched from the electric "daily driver" to the gasoline car for medium and long-distance trips. Both machines would be licensed to the same plate.

Carbon taxes (they're coming folks, no matter how hard your political liar of choice assures you they're not) would take care of the rest, giving owners a powerful incentive to use the electric vehicle whenever possible.

It's a transitional idea. As electric vehicles evolve in range and power capabilities, the role of the fossil-fuel powered alternative will decrease accordingly. Eventually there may be no need for a "dual licence" incentive. But, until that day arrives, we can kick start electric automobile acceptance and this licensing option would seem to do a lot to help.


Anonymous said...

I don't get the enthusiasm about electric cars. Where is the power going to come from to plug them in? We're already too dependent on coal for energy in this province without electric cars. What's that going to do for climate change and breathable air?

The Mound of Sound said...

Well Lillian, that's the second part of the challenge - power generation. There are proven, affordable and untapped technologies available to us but we first have to overcome the powerful efforts of Big Coal and Big Oil to defend the status quo. Gwynne Dyer has a good review of the alternate energy technologies in his new book "Climate Wars."

Two sources BC has in abundance are tidal power and geo-thermal (along with our existing hydro-electric resources). We can also adapt wind and solar power generation (much of BC gets more sunlight than Germany were solar power is already well established).

Unknown said...

I always dig for car related posts this is because such posts help me to maintain my car and I don’t have to waste my money and time in garages.