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The economic realities of electric car?
(11-18-2019, 12:48 AM)Aurelio Wrote: I wonder why public transport is so unbelievably bad in the US. In European cities, it is easily possible to live without a car. But in most American cities, there are no trains and buses just suck.

Speaking as an American (FWIW) - I'm going to say a combination of geography, historical accident, and economics.

Geography - The US is huge compared to Europe. Seriously - we have multiple individual states that are bigger than entire European nations. It is not uncommon to hear anecdotes about European visitors struggling to really get their head around this - talking about driving to another state and not realizing that it will take them 10-12 hours each way to do that. Even with high speed rail (As currently conceived and state of the art) this means that most of the country would still see a long haul when getting from A to B.

Note also that while the older Eastern cities in the US are often designed such that public transit works better, most cities in the middle and Western part of the nation are designed around the use of cars. Which brings us to...

Historical accident - The US really got going as a major nation around the time that the automobile was really getting going as a means of transport. Most of the country doesn't have the long history with trains and public transit that Europe does or the cultural traditions that go with it. Instead they have the cultural tradition of cars and the 'freedom' to go where you want, when you want, on an individual basis.

Economics - The US has enormous sunk costs in a car based transport system. That includes the design of most of our cities, which place things far apart and give over lots of space to roads and parking lots and place residential centers in clusters (suburbs) with driving based distances to schools, shops, professional offices, etc. Changing all that isn't impossible - but it takes time and money that isn't really there yet.

Politics and social identity also play a big role in this.

My 2c worth,


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RE: The economic realities of electric car? - by Drashner1 - 11-18-2019, 02:07 AM

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