Monday, October 22, 2012

Word of the day: Electrification

At this week’s Convergence in Detroit, Mark Reuss, NA president of GM, told a crowd at Tuesday’s keynote, “Hybridization is no longer enough; electrification is the future.”

What struck me most about this statement was the word, electrification; I had yet to hear it in the automotive context. So I did what anyone with a rocket stick would do, I googled it on my way home. The trail led back to GM’s blue paper on sustainable urban mobility, Roadmap to 2030.

For some time now I’ve been thinking about getting an electric or hybrid car but have been bemoaning the lack of choice. Apparently, the fact that a new ground-transportation paradigm requires wide-spread societal alignment hadn’t occurred to me. You just put up a few recharging stations, right?

GM EN-V electric concept car
Source Wikipedia
GM makes eight recommendations in their blue paper, two of which I find to be particularly interesting:

  • Integrate electrically powered, connected vehicles into a multi-modal transport system that incorporates sophisticated inter-city transport, comprehensive subway systems, traditional vehicle movement, and specialized smaller urban vehicles
  • Identify a series of “lighthouse” projects to demonstrate the potential and viability of connected electrically driven vehicles in a controlled environment such as an eco-city or small town

It is nice to see a company taking such a definitive stand and boldly painting a vision for the future; this kind of creative thinking is what we need.

I was surprised to discover the blue paper is from 2010; still if you haven’t already read it, it is worth a look. You can download the paper from the GM web site.

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