Since I have been blogging now for over five years, I tend to notice all electric vehicles. Today in fact I was shuttled in an electric vehicle that is used in a garage. I’ve never been completely sure what the garage’s use for the vehicle is, but they do plug them into simple 110v outlets. The story of why I got a ride is not embarrassing but far too long and irrelevant for this blog. I am happy that these inexpensive electric vehicles are used for short range situations.
When I was in India a few years ago, I actually took a natural gas taxi from Delhi to the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is a doable day trip from Delhi and we chose to hire a taxi instead of joining a tour group, which was probably not the best environmental decision available. At the beginning of 2005, 10,000 busses, 55,000 three-wheelers taxis, 5,000 minibuses, 10,000 taxis and and 10,000 cars all driven by natural gas were in Delhi. The pollution around the Taj Mahal has been serious for a number of years now and all vehicles have been banned within 500 feet of the monument. We did make one quick stop on the way back to a natural gas fueling station.
I am a bit surprised that I have only once seen a natural gas vehicle in California. Our homes are all warmed by natural gas but there are not a lot of natural gas filling stations. Perhaps in California the infrastructure of electric cars and the wonderful convenience of charging at home with or without solar panels trumps any interest in natural gas. Natural gas is quite abundant in the United States. But a lot of that gas requires fracking. Fracking has environmental risks including increased earthquakes.
Also I sincerely realize the environmental impact of these international trips and have seriously cut back on my travel in the last few years.