The provocateurs at Low-Tech, a website which "refuses to assume that every problem has a high-tech solution," make an interesting suggestion for electric cars: Get rid of the batteries. "Batteries are the flaw of electric cars, and not only when considering the environment. Electric cars are not yet a reality because of the limited mileage of their ‘fuel tanks.’ At best, an electric car can drive 100 or 200 miles. After that, the car has to be plugged in for hours." Their suggested alternative: bumper car technology, where electricity is fed to the vehicle directly from the grid.
Trolley Truck in Barcelona
Trolleys once Ruled the Road
Kris De Decker reminds us that in many countries, there are networks of trolley cars and vehicles that use overhead wires for power yet drive on the road like a conventional vehicle. " Like electric cars, the environmental score of a trolleybus depends on the way the electricity was generated. However, a trolleybus (just like a tram or an electric train) does not face the problem of energy storage. Therefore, the problem with the electric car is not that it’s electric, but that it’s wireless."
They do note the aesthetic problem- overhead wires. "However, it would mean overhead lines or grids as far as you can see, if we would want to keep the absolute freedom of movement of the passenger car. Such a system would be easier to apply on highways, but that would mean that all cars have to maintain the same speed and that they are not able to pass one another – unless the grid system of bumper cars is copied." ::Low Tech
Toronto trolley bus 1985
Trolleys in TreeHugger:
In Seattle, A Ride On The S.L.U.T. Is Good For the Earth