Below is part of a discussion on the Nissan Leaf and electric vehicles here on CleanTechnica. It’s got broad relevance to EVs, solar technology, wind technology, and more, and is just a great little reflection on society. So, here it is (slightly edited to be tailored to a post rather than a comment in that Nissan Leaf thread):
I’m old enough to have lived through multiple significant technological changes.
The first that I recall was from slide rules to calculators. The first calculators were very expensive and had limited functions. An experienced slide rule user could calculate faster. But calculators added more functions and prices fell. It’s been over 40 years since I saw someone use a slide rule.
Then there was the transition from typewriters, “adding machines”, and ledger books to computers. Most people resisted at first, but as computers improved and prices dropped, people rapidly switched. Seen a typewriter store lately?
And film to digital. Around 2000, we got ‘not cheap’ two-meg digital cameras. Some of us, mostly those who weren’t interested in printing large, switched, but the real movement happened a few years later when megs rose and prices dropped. Kodak just announced that they will no longer manufacture slide/transparency film.
I look at today’s EVs like those multi-hundred dollar calculators, personal computers that ran at 8 megs and cost a couple thousand dollars, and the first 6-meg digital SLRs that cost thousands of dollars.
It’s the opening round. A few people do the math and find that it’s cheaper for them to drive a limited-range Leaf. A bit later we’ll have the option of an EV with a bit more range and for a few thousand less. My guess is that, in a few years, almost everyone will find an EV/PHEV that works for them and saves them money.
Image: Nissan Leaf courtesy of shutterstock
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.