Electric vehicles present a real opportunity to take a step towards better designed, more reliable, and sustainable transport. Instead, electric cars have become nightmarishly complex gadgets whose limited lifespans will make them less sustainable than a diesel pickuptruck running on whale oil. This talk will explore the problem, and make a few suggestions as to what could be done about it.
I want my next car to have an electric motor, I want it to push the boundaries of what is capable with a battery and I want it to be an automotive tour de force that represents a real advance over my gasoline car in terms of lifetime sustainability. The switch to electric cars represents an opportunity like no other to deliver a new type of car that doesn’t carry the baggage of what has gone before, but what I see in the electric cars available to me just doesn't live up to that dream. The car industry now makes cars that don't rust and don't wear out, so for planned obsolescence they now rely on technological complexity to ensure they reach the scrap heap long before their promise of true sustainability can be realised. This talk will attempt to deconstruct the problem, and look at how it might be remedied.