It might seem far fetched to think that gasoline cars will be displaced by electric vehicles by 2016 but futurist Lars Thomsen has predicted that will be the beginning of a quite rapid end to the gasoline engine – especially in Europe and North America. What’s going to push this change along? The rapid deployment of charge stations, falling prices of electric vehicles, improved battery technology and of course the steady increase in oil prices as ‘cheap’ oil becomes a thing of the past. Lars likens the scenario to the ‘popcorn effect’. You hang around the stove waiting for the corn to pop – then bingo, one kernal pops followed in rapid succession by a series of others. Tesla popped last year!
If you have a look at the deployment of rapid charge stations (Supercharge stations) and the planned rollout that’s underway (see the Tesla Supercharge page) you’ll see that by 2015 it will be possible to traverse the whole of the US and most of Western Europe in a Tesla by dropping in to their network. Charging if always FREE and the energy is collected with Solar Panels. For those not driving Tesla vehicles charge stations are becoming ubiquitous in most European countries. For example by 2011 there were 400 charge stations in London. There are literally tens of thousands of public charge points deployed throughout Europe. Even in Australia (with no incentives and little public discussion) we have perhaps 100 stations deployed nationally with most of those currently in Melbourne and Perth (about 30 in each city).
All the major car manufacturers now have hybrid or pure EV production vehicles. As the general public becomes more savvy to the benefits of driving electric the ‘popcorn effect’ that futurist Lars describes might very well sound the death knell of the toxic gasoline engine sooner than we all expect … hallelujah!