Flying Cars Now a Reality?
Earlier this week, General Motors revealed something major at their keynote speech at this year’s CES 2021.
CEO Mary Barra announced GM’s big step with a variety of new products that will embrace the future of electric vehicles.
This all revolves around a new battery they unveiled named the “Ultium Drive” — a family of electric motors and drives that has a wide variety of uses. Having eight in total, this means that the powertrain (the set of components that generates power to move the vehicle) is extremely versatile. It can be used from the largest of vehicles like a van or truck to smaller applications like an electric pallet jack.
With this in mind, they’re taking steps to provide the vehicles for commercial uses.
Specifically, GM wants to dominate the market that gets products from company to consumer.
That’s why the customization of the Ultium Drive is so critical. There are many moving parts in the supply chain, whether it be shipping the goods from a warehouse to your home, or even getting a product down from a shelf to the loading bay.
Finally, in a turn of events, GM unveiled something stunning… the eVTOL — a flying car:
Source: General Motors
Call it what you will — an air taxi, a personal flying drone…
But in the end, it’s a huge announcement from a company that for the longest time was seen as stuck in its old ways.
Tesla has always been at the front of everyone’s mind for the past decade when it came to innovation in the auto industry.
And GM’s finally stepped up to the plate as a direct competitor.
The market’s taken notice as well.
This week alone, they’re up over 20%, and they’ve hit all-time highs — finally breaking out of the middling slump that’s plagued them for the past decade…
So what does an EV future look like?
Well, we need to look no further than a country across the pond to figure this out.
The country of Norway, with its large oil reserves and its fjords, has nearly fully adopted electric vehicles into its society — even in the smallest of towns.
One of my contacts who lives right outside of Oslo got on the phone with me recently to discuss the ins and outs of daily life revolving around EVs and how they’ve been adopted.
It was like looking into the future:
How has Norway adopted EVs into its society?
It’s really come from the top down.
Norway has bought the third most Teslas in the world, behind China and the U.S. And per capita, we have the highest EV ownership in the world.
The infrastructure is pretty insane. Virtually every town — even barns of 50 people — will have 33% of all public parking spaces equipped with free speed chargers.
Norway has banned the production and sale of gas cars. You won’t be able to buy a new regular gas or diesel car by 2025.
Plus, they’ve come so far with bikes. There is a bike highway you can go down to town all the way down the coast.
I know several people who use it to bike to work. Granted most people have electric bikes… every office and parking lot has e-bike chargers. My wife has one and you can remove the battery and charge it inside.
E-bikes are also popular with kids because the driving age is 18 and you can operate an e-bike at 14.
Have you fully committed to an EV?
We recently bought a new car, a Toyota Aerius, a European Prius hybrid. The car lot was 50% EV, 40% hybrid.
My buddy bought a Subaru Outback, full gas, and he had to go 100 miles to find a dealer. The most popular EV in his neighborhood is the BMW i3. The Jaguar I-PACE is a close second.
Why did you choose a hybrid? What are the drawbacks of a fully EV?
The biggest reason we didn’t go full electric is that our personal garage doesn’t support the electric hookup and we go to remote cabins and hiking and that definitely doesn’t support it. A hybrid seemed safer.
Our problem is we are in a townhouse but our garage is at the end of the row, so we’d have to run a power line all the way around. It would go through public land, which means we’d have to get special permission from the city. Most people pay about $5,000 to set it up, but we would end up paying five times that.
I don’t think Norway will ever fully get off gas. There are special exemptions for old American muscle cars because Norwegians are obsessed with them.
After 2025, if you want a muscle car you will either be grandfathered in or have to pay about $50,000 in import fees to bring it from somewhere else.
What would you say are the benefits of EVs?
EVs don’t have to pay road tolls, which we have a ton of, and pay half price for the ferries (our country has 2,000 inhabited islands).
Taxes on EVs are cheaper and gas is expensive (around $7.50 a gallon).
Plus, like I said, charging up is free mostly everywhere.
Editor’s Note: It costs around $15.29 to fully charge a Tesla in the United States based on electricity pricing, which is still nearly half the price of gas, if not less in some areas.
The future is already here. You just have to look a bit deeper to see it.
There are still a lot of things needed infrastructurewise for us here in the U.S. to take the next step toward mass EV adoption.
But we’re well on our way.
Around 1 million Americans had an electric vehicle at the end of 2018. That’s fewer than one percent of the total population. By 2040, however, it’s expected that majority of light-duty vehicles on the roads will be fully electric.
The big guns in the automotive industry have finally taken notice of this and are making steps to ensure a purely electric future.
If there’s any trend to get in on before the transition is made, it’s electric vehicles.
To a bright future,