Is it the dawn of the age of the electric vehicle?

If we can find a place to “park n’ charge” it could be.

With the arrival of the Tesla Model 3, many agree that the electric car is finally poised to go mainstream. But as the grand plans of CEO Elon Musk come to fruition, cities and businesses need to move fast to install enough public chargers for all of them—and maybe even to produce enough electricity.

I am really ready for a great electric vehicle. The Tesla SUV is perfect for my needs right now except for one tremendous hurdle, if I have a meeting in rural Alabama as I often do, can I make it back on one charge? There are very few charging stations in the parts of the country that I am visiting these days.

According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, the US economy and its millions of car drivers will fail to fully capture the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) unless the development of a robust national charging network accelerates considerably.

The risks of not having sufficient charging infrastructure to support surging electric vehicle sales is now greater than the risk of building underused charging stations, according to a new report from Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), From Gas to Grid: Building Charging Infrastructure to Power Electric Vehicle Demand. 

The report examines policies, regulations, and transportation electrification ambitions – highlighting how opportunities and challenges around building EV charging stations can vary by geography.

“In the US, EVs are on track to beat gasoline cars on price, without incentives or subsidies by 2025, but the current pace of charging station construction is unlikely to keep up,“ Chris Nelder, a manager in RMI’s mobility and electricity practices and report author, said “Without a vigorous and sustained construction program of EV-charging infrastructure, the US is likely to see its vehicle electrification ambitions stifled.”

The report is aimed at legislators, regulators, elected officials, consumer advocates, and utilities to help them understand the options in their states – concluding that where EV growth is strongest, charger deployment is lagging EV adoption, as utilities, regulators, and charging station companies debate ownership models, siting, and tariff design.

“We need to move beyond the debate about the equitability of vehicle electrification and stop questioning whether we should be making investments in charging infrastructure—we absolutely should,” Jerry Weiland, a managing director of mobility transformation at RMI, said. “It is critical to get right the methods and infrastructure for vehicle electrification from the start, with appropriate tariffs, well-planned charging infrastructure, and the ability to manage chargers, and the time to start working on that is now.”

I may have to push my choice of SUVs back to the traditional models for now but it is on my radar.

Nasa’s New Era.

Opening a new, entrepreneurial era in spaceflight, a ship built by a billionaire businessman sped toward the International Space Station with a load of groceries and other supplies after an early Tuesday blastoff.

The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and its unmanned Dragon capsule marked the first time a commercial spacecraft has been sent to the orbiting outpost.

The rocket lifted off just before 4 a.m. and smoothly boosted the capsule into orbit. The capsule is expected to rendezvous with the space station within days, delivering a half-ton of provisions for its six crew members.

It is considered just a test flight, but if all goes well with this mission and others like it, commercial spaceships could be carrying astronauts to and from the space station in three to five years.

“Falcon flew perfectly!!” billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder of the SpaceX company, said via Twitter. “Feels like a giant weight just came off my back.” Musk told reporters: “For us, it’s like winning the Super Bowl.”
Up to now, flights to the space station were something only major governments had done. NASA is looking to the private sector to take over flights to the space station now that the space shuttle has been retired. Several U.S. companies are vying for the opportunity.

“The significance of this day cannot be overstated,” said a beaming NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “It’s a great day for America. It’s actually a great day for the world because there are people who thought that we had gone away, and today says, ‘No, we’re not going away at all.'”

Since the shuttle’s retirement last summer, American astronauts have been hitching rides to the space station aboard Russian rockets, and Russian, Japanese and European ships have been delivering supplies. Yikes, the US astronauts hitch hikers!

Isn’t that a false sense of budget cutting as all the jobs to build those rockets in Russia and Japan are not here at home.

At least space X is here in the good old USA. SpaceX has spent more than $1 billion on the project.

The rocket also blasted into orbit around the Earth the ashes of more than 300 people, including Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper and actor James Doohan, who played Scotty on “Star Trek.” The ashes were in a part of the rocket that was jettisoned during the climb into space.