You’ve heard it all before, oil is scarce, diesel and electric cars are going to be banned and we are all going to go to work on hover boards. Nah. Whilst the latter may not be true and a figment of the imagination (thanks Doc Brown) the reality is we must change.
The world is being strangulated by our own inventions; rain forests are being cut down, ice bergs melting quicker than your 99 whippy in a sauna and our lungs have so much CO2 in them we may as well ditch the flake and suck on a tasty exhaust pipe.
Fast forward to ten years and it seems electricity will be the chosen fuel to get us about. Back in the 80’s the future once was laughed at with visions of us all making our way to work on glorified milk floats or at best the Sinclair C5. But the decade that brought us the battery powered car may have been on to something.
Today it is actually quite cool to join #TeamElectric with some exciting cars including the Tesla X, 0-60 faster than a Bugatti Veyron or the Porsche GT with it’s petrol/hybrid engine. And there it is. I tried so hard not to mention the ‘H’ word but it is the future.
Yes we have the Toyota Prius which has led the way for many years and a Hollywood favourite. Volvo, BMW and Volkswagen have pledged to go all or part electric with their range by 2040.
This is all well and good but how will electric power our bigger modes of transport? Planes, articulated lorries, tankers? Only recently one of the world’s largest car transporters, MV Auto Eco, arrived in Southampton powered by a diesel and natural gas turbine. Auto Eco is powered by LNG and joins other vessels in port using this technology today. Solar power and hybrid technologies are also being used in the port and we have also seen significant reductions in power requirements for ships as new technology reduces the load.
So how will we get to and from the serviced property to work or around the city in the future? Radio Taxis and even Uber offer the chance to ride in hybrid cars or even the fully electric powered Nissan Leaf. That’s a start.
YoBike is a completely new style of shared-cycling programme and has recently landed in Southampton. There’s no docking stations, limited bike availability or 30 minute maximum cycling penalties. Our motto is pretty simple ‘Get Around for Just £1’ and that simplicity is something we carry right through our scheme. With YoBike it’s as simple as 1, Download the app 2, Locate & Unlock, 3. On your bike.
A ‘sexy’ looking tram in Birmingham
The days of trams around Portsmouth and Southampton are long gone, although it’s past can still be spotted if you head into the back streets of the city and slide your way across remaining track. Like trains trams are powered by electric, efficient and reliable. They share the roads with other vehicles or in some cases use existing track infrastructure for dedicated access to key points.
With many cycle ways that once played home to the train across the south it is already laid out and ready to roll, give or take a few Quid and a trim of some over grown trees.
Solent Go is the hub locating car clubs that you can simply just turn up to and rent a car. With many options across the south coast, including Eastleigh in Southampton they offer a full range of propelled options including hybrid. Handy for those guests who are staying short term and did not bring their own car. A good way of getting about for a small fee and with their own parking spaces.
OK, so Venice it ain’t. But for those who need to commute from city to city a water taxi is not a bad option. Set off from the jetty of Port Solent and by in Ocean Village Southampton within the hour (weather depending of course).
These are just a few of the options left on the table when it comes to getting about the city. The question is: will the infrastructure be in place by 2017? Will the cycle ways be safe enough for us to travel down? Will there be enough power points about to charge our vehicles? Will electric costs go through the roof? Who knows. For now though stick to the free power that can easily be charged and won’t cost a lot to replenish…your own body.
Writer, contributor, social media commentator.