To Hold Dangerous Dogma Away, The CleanTech Group Wants To Repeatedly Problem Preconceptions



“Problem your preconceptions, or they’ll problem you.”
—An Outdated Vulcan Proverb

One important factor in my work right here at CleanTechnica is to maintain a finger on the heartbeat of the EV scene. I can’t cowl every part, however fortunately, I’m solely a part of a crew that does this. So, I watch sure elements of the business and its prospects.

Like every group of individuals, we’ve a shared tradition. Clearly, EV followers are going to suppose EVs are higher than the opposite choices, even when for various causes. A few of us are in it for the setting. Others could be in it as a result of we just like the torque or the quiet experience. Both approach, that assumption is likely one of the issues our group is constructed upon.

A few of these assumptions have turn out to be virtually canonized over time. Should you communicate your thoughts in a setting the place most individuals consider one factor, and also you say the alternative of that, some individuals won’t solely attempt to inform you why they suppose you’re flawed, however take what you mentioned personally. Even worse, individuals closely invested in sure corporations (<cough>Tesla</cough>) will take criticism personally, as a result of it might have an effect on their livelihoods if perception within the firm crumbles.

On the identical time, although, I don’t suppose I’m the neatest particular person on the planet, and I do know that I don’t know every part. My opinions on Tesla and different issues — they’re simply my opinions. I’ve my causes and my emotions that lead me to my opinions, and different individuals have their very own causes and emotions. So, after I focus on what I’m going to debate on this article and a few followup articles, I don’t need to simply inform individuals what to consider our group’s assumptions.

What I need to do on this article is lay out a few of the assumptions I generally see within the EV and cleantech world, and attempt to spark extra dialogue locally about them. A few of our assumptions are there for good motive, and may stick round. Others won’t be as strong, or issues might have modified since all of us began believing that. When that’s the case, we in all probability have to revise or reject them.

Let’s check out just a few of them for additional dialogue.


It is a frequent one, and it’s one which’s positively altering over time. 10–12 years in the past, any EV beneath round $70,000–$100,000 was going to both have a really brief vary or was going to have even shorter vary however with a gasoline engine to maintain you going. Nice examples of this had been the Nissan LEAF in comparison with the Chevrolet Volt. However, since that point, the worth of a battery EV with no ICE engine backing it up has gone down fairly a bit, and the infrastructure to assist EV charging has expanded to the purpose the place even the Chevy Bolt can go most locations, and that continues to enhance.

However, questions and circumstances might stay. Are there locations one may reside or go to regularly (largely rural) the place shopping for a BEV would nonetheless be a nasty concept? Are there area of interest purposes, like weekend freeway towing, the place solely the rich can afford a truck with sufficient battery for the job? Will battery provides be sufficient for the fast EV adoption we’d like?

Tesla Ought to Lead The EV Business

Earlier than you scroll right down to the feedback to chew my butt about this one, consider I mentioned “ought to.” No person accustomed to the business would doubt that Tesla at present leads it. The corporate is promoting essentially the most BEVs, it has essentially the most dependable charging infrastructure in the USA and another locations, and it’s nonetheless rising quick whereas everybody else continues to be at a a lot earlier level within the recreation (aside from some Chinese language corporations).

The belief to problem and preserve or throw away right here is that Tesla ought to lead the business long-term. Would it not be more healthy to have a number of corporations doing in addition to Tesla, or would it not be extra environment friendly if virtually everybody simply purchased a Tesla and let the “legacy” corporations die off?

Even when Tesla doesn’t dominate the entire business long-term, management may also imply that different EV producers basically construct Tesla clones. They could be dressed in another way to attraction to totally different prospects, but when everybody’s constructing a skateboard-platform EV with a easy inside and an enormous touchscreen, there’s actually nothing totally different taking place.

Autonomous Automobiles Are Going To Take Over

The belief right here is that, finally, people driving automobiles manually goes away, and might be changed by autonomous autos. If autonomous autos are far safer than guide driving, then governments might even ban guide driving sooner or later sooner or later.

A associated assumption is that private possession of automobiles will go away. Why personal a automobile and let it sit 22 hours a day when it could possibly be out giving different individuals rides when you’re doing one thing else? Or, why personal one in any respect, when you’ll be able to all the time get a automobile inside minutes?

Decentralized Photo voltaic & Battery Storage Will Redefine The Grid

The belief right here is that finally most households and companies can have photo voltaic on their rooftops and batteries inside to supply for many of their energy wants. This may make for a extra resilient energy grid that doesn’t depend on centralized vitality manufacturing and transmission that we’ve seen fail in each California and Texas over the previous few years.

Some causes to query this may increasingly embody:

How will multi-family and dense city housing join this?
Will poorer individuals and renters undergo and pay excessive costs on a failing grid whereas the center and higher class get pleasure from vitality safety?
Is it extra environment friendly to do centralized photo voltaic and storage initiatives?

Photo voltaic Doesn’t Belong On Automobiles

Virtually each time I see Aptera or the now dormant Sono Sion program come up, I see a number of EV followers say {that a} automobile’s roof is simply too small to supply a significant quantity of electrical energy. For small autos, this can be true, however this dialogue additionally extends to bigger autos like medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, RVs, and autos that might assist a folding construction to generate extra energy. Micromobility, like e-bikes and kick scooters, together with bikes of every kind, must also be part of this dialogue.

Some questions we have to ask:

Are we solely ready on higher know-how, or is it a nasty concept it doesn’t matter what?
Is it appropriate for less than sure sizes or sorts of autos?
Is that this know-how a great way to assist individuals with no entry to a charger at night time critically think about an EV?

I determine these 5 assumptions which can be frequent within the cleantech group are lots to get began with, and may spur a number of dialogue. If this dialogue is nice, I’ll observe up on these particular person subjects and/or attempt to spur dialogue about extra assumptions, so positively be happy to share your personal.

I stay up for seeing what everyone thinks within the feedback and on social media about this!

Featured picture by Jennifer Sensiba


I do not like paywalls. You do not like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Right here at CleanTechnica, we applied a restricted paywall for some time, but it surely all the time felt flawed — and it was all the time powerful to resolve what we must always put behind there. In idea, your most unique and greatest content material goes behind a paywall. However then fewer individuals learn it! We simply do not like paywalls, and so we have determined to ditch ours.

Sadly, the media enterprise continues to be a troublesome, cut-throat enterprise with tiny margins. It is a endless Olympic problem to remain above water and even maybe — gasp — develop. So …


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