Tales from the EV universeTibor Blomhäll, from the Tesla Club Sweden, is not a traveler from another dimension, but he might as well be. He wrote a great piece showing what it would be like to test-drive a gasoline car for the very first time in a world where (it is implied) all vehicles are electric. This is a great idea that I wish I had thought of myself, because it helps to bring to the surface so many things that we accept without a second thought because we are so used to them, not because they are particularly good.
I highly encourage you to read the whole thing, but here's an excerpt to whet your appetite:
So we sat in the car and pressed the START button. The car’s gasoline engine coughed to life and started to operate. One could hear the engine’s sound and the car’s whole body vibrated as if something was broken, but the seller assured us that everything was as it should. The car actually has an electric motor and a microscopically small battery, but they are only used to start the petrol engine – the electric motor does not drive the wheels. The petrol engine then uses a tank full of gasoline, a fossil liquid, to propel the car by exploding small drops of it. It is apparently the small explosions that you hear and feel when the engine is running.The petrol engine consists of literally hundreds of moving parts that must have tolerance of hundredths of a millimeter to function. We begun to understand why it is car repair shops that sell the cars – they might hope for something to break in the car that they can mend? [...]
The seller looked very puzzled at us and explained that it is not possible to refuel gasoline cars at home, and there are no free gas stations.
It's interesting to imagine how this kind of alternate timeline could have come about. Electric cars came before the gasoline cars, and maybe if we had battery breakthroughs back then and the electric grid had been more developed, the internal combustion engine car might never have had the chance to become dominant. That's not how it happened, but it's interesting to think about how the world would be different if it had.
There certainly would be a lot less CO2 in the atmosphere and it's possible that many countries would be very different (the so called petro-states). Maybe the past century would also have seen fewer wars, since some of the most unstable parts of the world are big oil producers.