In the near future, we will not be driving cars with conventional gasoline powered engines. The future will be all electric. Why? Because in the long-haul efficiency always wins out.
Reciprocating engines need to change their motion from reciprocating (up and down) to rotating. Electric motors are already circular in motion. Furthermore, electric motors have far fewer moving parts than gas driven motors so they need far, far less maintenance. Solid state batteries using silicone are being developed and will soon be manufactured. These batteries will last a long, long time, will recharge quickly, and electric cars will be able to drive from New York to Miami without recharging.
Except for the enthusiast who wants to own a special car, we won’t own a car. We will send a message to a car “depot” and request that a car be sent to our address at a time for a trip to San Francisco, for instance. The driverless car will show up and take us to San Francisco. We can keep that car there to drive us around, or we can release it, where it will be available for people nearby who want to travel somewhere. When we are ready to travel back home, we will send a message to the “depot” requesting a car and one will show up to take us back home. THIS IS THE FUTURE.
There is a big boondoggle going on in California and that is the high-speed rail project. We currently have Amtrak that runs lengthwise through the state. It is not a high-speed train but it will get a passenger from Northern to Southern California. I have watched it go by here and it has never had more than six cars. I have asked a friend who is a proponent of the high-speed rail project. She is over 80 years old. I asked her how many times has she used the train. She said about four times. I said that certainly is not an endorsement for train travel.
If you agree that my predictions for the future are correct, then please consider the following: instead of investing $100 billion on a project that will serve relatively few, invest in adding one lane in both directions (so trucks will not slow down traffic) on Interstate 5 and Highway 99. Then build more electric generating plants to produce more electricity and make more charging stations available. That is thinking for the future.
— Bill Waterson