All-Electric Transportation

12/30/11

[Editor's note: As a New Year's exercise, we asked a select group of Xconomists to answer this question: "What's the craziest idea out there that just might succeed?"]

All-electric commercial boats, ships, railway engines, and aircraft. The hyper-convergence of energy generation, battery storage, electric vehicle systems development, and electric charging infrastructure has first focused commercially on cars, and now trucks. These advancements may, sooner than we have expected, transition into other highly polluting vehicle markets. As the economies of the all-electric automobile industry are understood and realized, the specific systems and technologies will migrate quickly into these other markets. Air and noise pollution will be dramatically reduced, and everyone on board will enjoy a much smoother ride. And pilots and other EV operators will love the hyper-responsiveness of their electric motors.

Robert Noble is the founder, chairman, and CEO of San Diego-based Envision Solar International, Inc. and Chairs the California Center for Sustainable Energy. He is an architect, environmental designer, industrial designer and environmental technology entrepreneur. Follow @

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  • Greg Hauth

    All-electric has many advantages, to be sure. But the reference to “hyper-convergence of energy generation…” means that we need to address an outdated electric power grid. And we need to obtain electricity production seamlessly from multiple sources such as natural gas, wind, solar, hydro and yes, nuclear power. Supply (and supply chain delivery systems via an updated power grid) better keep up with demand or this is all just a dream.