So, I have lived the future, (for a few miles, a few days). All you need is an American son in law who has bought a Tesla Model S. Nought to 60 in under 3 seconds. WOW! That, with a plastic card or the mobile phone to open door handles, a computer to control wing mirrors and engine ignition. I'm redundant. What more is there? Well a lot.
I somehow managed to come to terms with my driving redundacy. Simply flicking a small lever up or down moved me forwards or backwards, of course with the help of the accelerator pedal. Simple touches on a big screen engaged many many modes of transport, driverless miles etc. Of course I didn't dare enjoy a "no hands" journey.
Needless to say this is America. It is still a leader, even if the rich get richer and the poor live on the pavements. Cars are everywhere still but you notice that Teslas have become a larger part of the view. So much so, that the Ford motor company is stopping the manufacture of passenger cars.
The Model S does 300 miles on a full battery. The car screen displays all the charging sites currently in operation countrywide and how many individual chargers are available for use. I found 50 such "chargers" positioned on the top floor of the carpark at the Sierramonte shopping centre. Consequently the weekly supermarket buy-in can be timed to get the battery fully charged. Charging at home is, of course, also possible but domestic electricity prices are higher than the Tesla station batteries.
The brighter business minds are jumping on the battery band wagon. The local swimming pool offers charging for members and the "In and Out" Burger also. Soon every shopping centers will have chargers.
Currently with a worldwide oil consumption of some 90 million barrels per day and around 1.7 trillion barrels of known reserves it will be around 2070 before the world runs dry. Well currently there are 1.2. biilion motor vehicles driving around in world. This number is expected to rise to some 2 billion by 2030. So a petrol free life is likely to be much earlier. Unfortunately, because of lithium supplies current Tesla battery production maximises out at around some 500,000. Hence the impact of a worldwide "Tesla revolution" would have little impact on oil consumption/global warming.
Having enjoyed my Tesla experience I have been challenged to get one and quickly. Well Europe is yet to catch the bug of electric cars. Tesla cars are currently marketed in Northern Europe with marketing gradually spreading south. It is a possibility that they will start being imported to Portugal this coming February.
This activity is coupled with the current drive toward increasing Lithium production in Mina do Borroso and Tras-o-Montes in the North East of the country points us in the right direction. Consequently I can really look forward to the time when Portuguese Lithium ions are moving towards towards the battery cathode in my locally acquired Model S.