China and Korea seem to be excited about a gasoline-free future. So why doesn’t New Jersey?
I’ve come across a pair of stories in the last couple of weeks about Asian countries embracing (or at least, starting to embrace) electric-car technologies. The first described a goal in place by the Korean government to transition Jeju Island, home to some 600,000 people, to electric cars only by 2030. Not only does this make sense for an island province, with shipping costs of gas, plus the limited driving range required, but it could serve as a laboratory for any country in the world wishing to become all-electric from which to learn.
The second described an effort by Protean Electric, Inc. to manufacture and market in-wheel electric motors in China. Not only does this signal that the Chinese market might be ready for an electric-car option, this also represents cutting edge technology in the electric-car arena–no American car maker has used this kind of motor before.
Meanwhile, Tesla Motors has been fighting tooth and nail, despite the incredible demand for their cars and political lip service to alternative fuel vehicles, to be allowed to even sell their cars in the U.S. due to conventional car dealerships’ fear of competition. Companies selling cars in the U.S. right now sell their cars to franchisee dealers, who in turn sell them to consumers. Tesla, on the other hand, is insisting on selling direct to consumers–and apparently that is against the law in many states. Tesla is facing problems (based on some hasty online research) in New Jersey, Ohio, Washington, Texas, Georgia, New York, Maryland, Virginia, and Arizona. Articles here and here and here give even more details.
It appears that Asia is picking up the ball and running with it while America trips over its own shoelaces.
I can hear Victor Meldrew right now: “What in the name of bloody–I do NOT believe it! In the name of sanity!”