Electric Cars & MacBook Airs

There has been a lot of drama this week over the Tesla’s Model S. Elon Musk and a New York Times reporter have been throwing defensive articles back and forth regarding a negative review of their new electric sedan. While I don’t have much to say regarding the current controversy, the idea of range in electric vehicles is very interesting to me.

My thoughts are pretty straight forward and I owe a debt to Bowen Humphreys, a sustainable business student, for pointing this out. Many families have more than 1 car. Here’s why that matters. If the majority of a family’s car usage is fairly short range, with occasional long range for road trips, why not have one electric car and one fossil fueled car? The electric car is capable of 90% of a family’s driving, and there is still another vehicle for occasions where electric doesn’t cut it. Maybe our American penchant for owning multiple cars makes the unicorn of an electric car with huge range not as necessary as it seems.

I’m familiar with this phenomenon in computers as well. I use an 11" MacBook Air for my work and it does 90% of what I need very well, but its small hard drive and lack of powerful graphics card occasionally annoy. I’m not really sure which direction I will go to solve these issues, whether a second desktop computer or a higher end MacBook Pro will be the magic bullet, but these are the trade offs of modern living. Do I want to pay for gas or wait to recharge? Do I want to manage storage and wait for slower rendering or do I want to sacrifice portability? What a blessing to be making choices like these instead of more serious ones.