Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cars, Garages And Outhouses, An Electric Future.

I love driving the BMW Mini-E and contemplating how radically different the future will be because of the electric car.

In the early 1900’s, around the same time the first affordable cars were being massed produced, the outhouse moved from the back forty, to inside the home. Can you imagine the conversations of the early pioneers of that revolutionary technology?

Wife: You want to move that smelly stinky fly infested s---hole to the inside of my home?

Husband: Yup. Honey I promise it won’t smell because I’m putting a pipe in as well.

How radical was that!

The electric car offers us new technology such as no emissions from the car, which means we can radically change the way we interface with the car, both at home and at Home Depot. It is the emissions and fluids that cause us to park the car outside or in a garage.

In part one of the BMW film “Wherever You Want To Go”  (click to see clip) I imagined a future where in our dense urban cities, the electric car would ride up the elevator with you.

Think of it as a vertical road with parking places on each floor, replacing the shared experience and expense of a large multi level, mechanically ventilated subterranean parking garage.  In our single family homes of the future, the living space will incorporate the electric car (perhaps next to the pantry or the pool table) and what we know of as the “garage” will soon join the "outhouse" as an architectural relic of a past era. The ability to take a car inside is just one of many ways that electric vehicle technology will revolutionize transportation and land use planning. (planners hate the long rows of ugly garage doors facing the streets)

If you think this is a bit far fetched, remember the outhouse was once the norm,  and read on,

From the Miami Herald,

Pull over into the designated space. Turn off the engine. And enjoy the oceanfront view as you escalate in a glass elevator that takes you, while you are sitting in your car, to the front door of your apartment. No, this is not the latest Disney ride. The $560 million Jetsonesque tower will rise in Sunny Isles Beach. It likely will be the world’s first condominium complex with elevators that will take residents directly to their units while they are sitting in their cars.

From Germany,

Fed up with looking for somewhere to park? Afraid of your car being vandalized? Nervous about dark alleyways and gloomy underground car parks? Your worries are a thing of the past. Imagine living in a flat - but parking your car on the same floor! Using the special CarLift, within just two minutes you can be either zooming off or back in your own home again - a loft with unparalleled standards of safety, comfort and exclusiveness. The CarLift is a special elevator which takes you to the floor you live on without having to get out of your car. A transponder inside your car informs the CarLift that you're authorized to enter - and the CarLift knows which story to take you to.

Imagine the future, welcome to the future.

Mini-E #183, 35,000 sunshine powered miles

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