Electric Avenue: The Future of Personal Transportation is More Than Just a Little Car

| October 16, 2000

Electric Avenue: The Future of Personal Transportation is More Than Just a Little Car, Paul Makovsky, Metropolis
Has the era of the electric car finally arrived? And, if so, what does it mean for us? Dan Sturges, director of 'new mobility' at Silicon Valley design firm frogdesign, is part of the team that created the Ford Think, an electric car with a maximum speed of 25 m.p.h. and a range of 30 miles per charge that will retail for around $6,000 when it is released later this year. Sturges views the electric car as the key to a community-based vision of transportation that goes beyond issues of air pollution to tackle problems of congestion, urban sprawl, and even declining civility. Because the majority of all trips made by single drivers are five miles or less, Sturges sees electric cars as the perfect vehicle to anchor his proposal of a 'Community Mobility System.' 'At a center or hub of a community will be a neighborhood mobility center, where you can pick up packages, get to car sharing, and have access to mass transit. Mobility flags would be set down two miles apart in a community, consolidating traffic and business around them and thus discouraging sprawl.' And, since these small cars are meant as supplementary vehicles, rather than as replacements for a conventional family car, they may prove more successful than earlier attempts to market electric cars. -- Anjula Razdan
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