Gas prices in the United States are skyrocketing. The average price of a US gallon of gas according to AAA is around $4.79 for regular unleaded and diesel fuel already eclipsing 6 and 7 dollars easily in California. Are gasoline cars going the way of the dinosaur? Can the US electrical grid support electric cars, charging stations, and road sensors in the near future? Teleworking nationwide has eased some of the burden on consumers but still the average commute for most people is around 30 min to an hour and in some cases 2 hours commute one way for those living in the most distant hinterland suburb of America’s biggest cities. But the toll on black farmers and truckers with diesel costs cannot be ignored. All of our goods and services after being either flown in or on a train, have to be trucked to a distribution warehouse in America whether its for Walmart or Dollar Tree or Kroger’s. Some gas stations, not located around traditional price gouging areas like airports, were charging a dollar more than average in an attempt to get ahead of the storm.
The truth is there is no easy solution. The US electrical grid does not have the infrastructure to support all EV cars and that would not be ready for use until 2028 or later. Its also true though that we probably be seeing less full gas cars on the road in the future. Gas prices are not set by the President or Congress but by OPEC and basic supply and demand economics. For those saying fracking is the answer, well maybe but that will unleash more toxic chemicals into the atmosphere and could make underground fault lines very unstable.In our communities, electric cars would be a blessing as it would allow cleaner environmental air and less traffic on the streets for our kids who might play in the neighborhood. It’s also a plus that with electric we can work smarter and not harder with respect to less moving parts in the engine that tear up and need repair. The problem comes with access as prices for EV cars start higher than gasoline cars. In a recessionary economy, only the top 10% could potentially get access to the best EV cars. The other con to an electric car is that the battery can be very expensive to replace and the mileage range of these cars is not up to par with gasoline cars yet. I admit, I am too impatient right now for an electric car– who wants to sit there while the car charges in 4-6 hours or sometimes all night in the garage? I need to get where I am going not googling where is the nearest charging station in some boonie town. Furthermore, there is always the issue of not enough charging stations so its not like you can drive to the next charging location which may be up to 50 miles away and you’re at your 200 mile range maximum now.
I support the use of both gas and electric in this present time. I think as people of color ,we can utilize both to grow our businesses and plan for generational wealth in this space. Imagine if we had a US state public-private partnership where it was black owned to provide teens with hybrid electric mopeds for use in college or grad school on a scholarship basis. Those kids can use that collectively to get to school and a nearby campus job for little cost and make money to give back to their community in the process. In the future, there will be more robots and automation and less gas powered machines. President Biden’s infrastructure bill did not pass and so it looks like its going to be up to us to not only create jobs but sustain jobs in this new technocratic world that is coming called the Metaverse.