Greenpeace at Formula E....and we are serious

Posted by Greenpeace UK — 30 June 2015 at 3:02pm - Comments
A polar bear giant life-like puppet stands next to a formula e car
All rights reserved. Credit: Matthew Pritchard / Greenpeace
Even polar bears can enjoy Formula E

You may have heard that natural gas is needed as a 'bridging fuel' until renewable technologies are fully developed. You may have heard that electric vehicles will be popular once 'range anxiety' is cured amongst the motoring public by extending battery life and reducing charging times. 

But did you know that solar power became cheaper than diesel in India over three years ago? And the price of solar panels is expected to continue to plummet. Meanwhile in Brazil, the gas industry is asking for state protection as it is unable to compete with wind power, and renewable energy is cheaper than electricity from either gas or coal in the world's biggest coal exporter, Australia. And this is all OLD NEWS. 

In transport things are even more clear cut. According to Consumer Reports - the USA's equivalent of 'Which?' magazine -  the best car they've ever tested, scoring 99% overall, was the fully electric battery powered Tesla model S. Which, incidentally, also got the best safety test scores of any car, ever, from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Although, to be fair, they did receive that rating before this video was released. 

But what about range anxiety? Well, the model S can do up to 295 miles per charge, and can charge in one hour. Although it's not true for all available EV models currently, batteries are improving fast. 

So does Greenpeace recommend everyone buy a Tesla model S? Of course not. Even if everyone could afford one, the world doesn't need seven billion more cars. We would endorse the recommendations in the Lancet/UCL commission report that everyone should walk a little more, and cycle a little more, and improve their own health along with the planet's.

And we'd also recommend that you give a little thought to efficiency in your longer distance journeys. Can you car-share, or take the train instead of the plane over short-haul distances? Then we'd endorse that too. 

But we also love the latest and greatest in high-tech solutions, because we're all a bit geeky, and, more seriously, because they make the point that we have no technological barriers to the cleaner future we all want and need in order to stop catastrophic climate change. It's not insoluble technical challenges or lazy engineers holding us back, it's fossil fuel companies and the politicians on their payroll. 

And that's the point we're trying to make with this film about formula E -- not that climate change can be solved with single-seater racing cars, but that the technology is ready and that what seemed futuristic a decade ago is now reality. Anyone who tells you otherwise either has a dodgy political agenda, or just isn't up to speed.

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