“We’re all looking for solutions to make our world better. But solutions can’t be all work. Solutions have to be fun also.”
That bit of home-spun but well-reasoned wisdom comes from “car guy” Jim Kramer, driver of “Big Foot # 20,” which he describes as the first all-electric monster truck. “I always get a flood of questions from the people … ‘Wow, it’s really cool. You did a nice show without any noise,’” he says. But monster trucks “do pollute … well, this one doesn’t. This is our bid to make having fun clean and better.”
In an original Yale Climate Connections video featuring insights from Stanford University’s Mark Jacobson, entrepreneur and inventor Elon Musk, Envision Solar CEO Desmond Wheatley, “Charged” magazine publisher Christian Ruoff, and others, independent videographer Peter Sinclair pairs imaginative 2011 and 2014 television commercials featuring Nissan’s all-electric “Leaf” with mid-1950s footage illustrating early Bell Telephone Laboratory solar power research.
Also including coverage from CBS News, the newly posted video features Jacobson’s conclusion that electric cars can be particularly safe because they have a low center of gravity, with the batteries on the floor of the car, helping to avoid turnovers; because, without gas on-board, they are unlikely to explode; and because they have more crush space or “crumple zone” under the hood and in front of the driver and passengers.
Musk and Ruoff express optimism about continued price drops for electric vehicles, with Ruoff saying “They are going to get better, and they are going to get cheaper. It’s the only way they can go.”
But when it all comes down to motivations for consumers to buy electric cars, Brewster McCracken, of the Austin-based Pecan Street Project, says desire to “do something good for the environment” is the number one reason people cite for buying an electric vehicle. After owning them for a while, the thing they like most about their electric cars — the thing they talk about most enthusiastically and tell people most often — is “number one: it’s fast.”