Bill Destler, president of Rochester Institute of Technology, one of the nation's largest technical universities, used to be "quite skeptical" about electric vehicles.
Now? He's a believer.
"Why?" Destler wrote in the Huffington Post earlier this month. "Because a careful analysis reveals that there are fundamental reasons that will drive manufacturers and consumers inevitably to electric vehicles in the years ahead, reasons that . . . lead me to believe that within 50 years a majority of our cars will be equipped with electric drivetrains."
Some of the reasons Destler is now convinced that electric vehicles are the future?
- Electric drivetrains are much more efficient than internal combustion engine (ICE) drivetrains; "a Chevy Volt can go about 40 miles on 11 Kilowatt-hours (KWH) of electricity, the energy equivalent of a third of a gallon of gasoline. And since the national average cost per KWH for electricity is only $0.11, this performance translates cost-wise into the equivalent of more than 120 miles per gallon."
- Electric vehicles are greener than gasoline-powered cars; "electric vehicles that consume only a third as much energy in operation are inherently greener no matter what fuel is used to generate the electricity they use"
- Electric vehicles can be powered by electricity produced from multiple energy sources "so electric vehicles have the potential to support the U.S. economy and reduce our dependence on imported oil."
- An efficient distribution network for electricity already exists in the U.S.
- Range is less of an issue than most think; "Most Americans drive 40 miles per day or less on the average, well within the range of almost all available electric cars, and future models will have 10 times this range or more
- Next generation technologies, such as fuel cell vehicles, will require electric drivetrains to propel the vehicles; "So in the future, electric drivetrains will probably dominate whatever the energy source. There's just no other way to get this kind of efficiency gain from an ICE drivetrain.