Posts Tagged New Urbanism

Will 2010 Mark the Shift from the Backward-Looking and Unaffordable Electric Cars to Forward-Thinking Smart Mobility?

Cleantech Group Chairman Nicholas Parker Thinks So

Tom Konrad, Ph.D.

I’ve long argued that the future of mobility in the peak oil era will center on alternative modes of transport, not alternative fuels for the same old car infrastructure.  Electric cars are probably the car of the future, but the cost of batteries and escalating cost of oil will mean that the number of electric vehicles is likely to remain low, while how often we use conventional vehicles will decline as fuel prices rise.

In his annual clean technology predictions for 2010, Cleantech Group Chairman Nicholas Parker prophesies,

Electric cars take the back seat to smart mobility

In 2009, electric vehicles and hybrids eclipsed fuel cell vehicles as the undeniable new center of gravity of the auto industry. Virtually every car company in Asia, Europe and North America announced ambitious clean car strategies, and many brought new models to market, in addition to startups funded by venture capitalists.

In 2010, clean cars will form part of a broader shift to smart mobility. Smart mobility will quickly permeate beyond simply the transport sector, and will be integrated into the new energy paradigm and influence the design of urban systems, even shipping ports. Look increasingly in 2010 for eco-city designs based on concepts such as “new urbanism.” Leading governments around the world will rethink tax systems, fiscal incentives and budgets to encourage greener forms of work and transport based on smart mobility concepts (SNCF, the French state-owned rail operator, set up a fund in 2009 specifically to invest in e-mobility.)

I think he’s being too optimistic on the time frame, but I sincerely hope he is right.   If he is, it will be good for my investments.  Three of my forthcoming Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2010, to be published on in this coming week are currently profitable companies focused on alternative forms of transport.

Two of his other predictions should also be good for my stock pick, if they come to pass.  Mr. Parker sees energy efficiency (three picks) eclipsing solar (no picks), and growing interest in waste-to-energy (one pick.)  You can see the rest of his predictions here.


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