Harrods Electric Delivery Van: Then and Now
Llewellyn King: The Future Is Electric
By Bill Moore
Respected journalist who's covered the energy scene since before the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo and White House administrations since Nixon shares his perspective on the future of electric transportation in this exclusive EV World 'Future In Motion' podcast.
When a young, energetic 20 year-old journalist from what was then Southern Rhodesia, soon to become Zimbabwe, arrived in London in 1959, electric vans were delivering groceries to wealthy residents. This was decades ahead of our current bubble of 21st century startups like Amazon and Deliv. Then it was famed Harrods Department Store in Knightsbridge using vehicles built before WWII, like the large van in the photo above.
That service and his own early interest from his youth in Africa in building an electric bicycle stayed with Llewellyn King, the creator, executive producer and host of White House Chronicle throughout his long career as a reporter and later energy industry newsletter publisher. It would resurface in the 21st century with the now increasingly rapid technological development of ever-better batteries and spreading environmental degradation. prompting him to write an OpEd in Huffington Post entitled, "Whoosh!, Here Comes the Electric Car."
It was that article that prompted me to reach out to him to talk about the article and what prompted it, especially from the perspective of someone who's covered the political scene in Washington, D.C. and especially 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for so many decades.
In this half-hour dialogue we cover a lot of ground from his concerns about carbon dioxide in our warming oceans and mushroom clouds of air pollution over American cities to his perspective on White House administrations from Nixon to Trump in their attitudes and action toward energy and a sustainable planet. He's especially encouraged by all the 'smart kids' who are graduating from our universities and seeking careers in transportation technologies, from EVs to autonomous vehicle systems.
Curiously, unlike Bob Lutz, who thinks private car ownership will be a thing of the past in the next 20-30 years, King believes there will still be a place for people owning and operating their own vehicles, but he also sees an opportunity for an Uber-like service where owners contract with utilities and/or local energy producers to sell, on an ad hoc basis, the electric storage capacity of their cars, what's called V2G, vehicle-to-grid.
You can listen to our discussion using the embedded MP3 player below or by downloading the file for playback on your favorite mobile device.
Originally published: 11 Nov 2017
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