The only piece missing now is the ‘Series Hybrid Electric Vehicle’ at a reasonable price. The biggest resistance to electric cars is their long charging times and limited range. The Prius version of “parallel hybrid”, plug-in or otherwise, is unnecessarily complicated as it drives the wheels with both the ICE and the motor. Burt Rutan suggests we simply put a basic charger onboard a conventional EV to extend its range when needed. 80% of all trips are of < 60 miles. Even the $100K Tesla doesn’t have an on-board charger. I’m waiting for Paul Allen’s money to join with Burt Rutan’s insight to market a basic electric car with a relatively small on board ICE powered charger. See the May 2006 issue of “Automobile” magazine for more about Burt’s idea.

Also, many of us could be commuting on sustainable power now. For example, most utilities, at least in the Pacific Northwest, will assure your power comes from sustainable sources for a modest surcharge of around 2¢ per kwh per month. See http://www.b-e-f.org/ for further explanation and opportunity to sign up.

The pieces are all available now for ending ICE use in transportation and all that implies. Quite soon, politics working as it should, we will recall the days we burned something in our cars to make them go as being as quaint as a Stanley Steamer. If you’re interested in helping me convert imported gliders from Italy (for example) into “series hybrid” EVs, drop me a line. There’s got to be a way to turn insight into dollars!