Dreams of an Electric Car

The first memories I’ve ever had of owning an electric car were in fifth grade. I was in Mrs. Munson’s class and we had to do some dumbass report on this thing called “global warming.” Global warming was this idea that if a planet had enough carbon dioxide pumped into its atmosphere it would cause the planet to heat up. This wasn’t too much of a big deal as the planet Venus, the one closest to the sun from Earth, had a very thick atmosphere consisting of almost pure carbon dioxide and it was somehow hotter than the closest planet from the sun, Mercury. It seems that having a very thick CO2 atmosphere somehow retains heat causing the second planet from the sun to be hotter than the planet right next to the sun.

Even though on this report on “global warming” I took the contrary view (that global warming wasn’t a thing) the evidence seemed clear to me. Mercury is cold. Venus is hot as hell. And Earth, by pumping more CO2 into our atmosphere, would only make its atmosphere hotter because CO2 traps heat. This would obviously cause instabilities in Earth’s ecosystems and everything, so the logical step to stop this total shitstorm would be to stop emitting carbon dioxide. Duh. And the most obvious source of CO2 to a fifth grader was car emissions; everyone drives cars.

Cars are everywhere. Cars are necessary. And the fact that all cars use gasoline, a carbon dioxide emitting chemical when burned, seemed to me that gas cars were a main issue with regards to CO2 emissions. Obviously I came to a more subtle and true understanding of the situation later in life and I’ll talk about that some more later, but from that point on I remember thinking “We need cars that don’t use gas.”

The whole idea of a “car that doesn’t use gas” in 1995 was pretty ridiculous too. There were no real cars that didn’t use gas back then. Sure there were the rare experimental electric cars but everything within reason used gas. Despite this, my fifth-grade self said to my grandma in very clear terms something like this. “I’m going to drive an electric car because it’s better for the environment.” And that was in 1995 or so. And I still remember that very childish goal being stated aloud many decades ago. It was sort of a pipe-dream and one that I had forgotten out of seriousness until recently.

StarCar
A Tesla Roadster (an electric car) in space, as launched by SpaceX. Now that’s a dream…

Because despite that unrealistic dream in 1995 I had sown the seeds for the future. I wanted to own an electric car and kept my eyes open to the possibility of these vehicles.

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