Electric Cars and Excessive Fiction

Whose Streets?

Dear Editors,

I was pleased to encounter a new installment of Dan Albert’s decennial check-in on the state of electric cars and electric car discourse (“Electric Cars: An Update,” Issue 38). But I was less than pleased to discover that the future of electric cars is more or less the same as the future writ large: underplanned, way less utopian than promised, and controlled by Amazon. The essay was helpful in contextualizing recent events in the automotive space, like Elon Musk’s ascension to the richest person in the world and GM’s announcement that it will go zero-emission by 2035, but it left me wondering if the final depressing months of the Trump era hadn’t stifled Albert’s inner Jimmy Carter. I can’t argue with Albert’s key observation—the irony that we’re finally getting mass-produced electric cars that are “bigger and more powerful and less electric car–like than even some of their gasoline equivalents”—but I do find the absence of the state in his account to be a little . . . neoliberal? The words “Green New Deal” don’t appear anywhere in the essay, and Albert seems to take for granted that the enormous investments in infrastructure necessary to prop up the new mobility dispensation will come from Amazon and not from Pete Buttigieg’s DOT. But why? Or at least, why not both?

More from Issue 39

Issue 39 Take Care

Without a dramatic transformation of this industry, what will old age look like for the rest of us? Indigence for all.

Issue 39 Take Care
Eye to Eye with the Beast
Issue 39 Take Care

I can tell you only what I found helpful.

Issue 39 Take Care

She wanted to be alive to cradle the dead.

Issue 39 Take Care
Knowledge Will Not Save Us
Issue 39 Take Care
A Trip to Minsk
Issue 39 Take Care

We might move on from complaining about how educating white people is exhausting to just treating them like shit.

Issue 39 Take Care
The Speculator
Issue 39 Take Care
Rumble in the Jungle
Issue 39 Take Care
Salt, Fat, Acid, Defeat
Issue 39 Take Care

After all, no one ever mentioned the putting of a human dick into a living mollusc.

More by this Author

Issue 36 Get Help
Issue 15 Amnesty

Cashing in on stereotypes about female readers, and female nature, is the foundation on which the Atlantic was built.

Issue 16 Double Bind

Cultural considerations wax as political hopes wane.

Issue 8 Recessional

The first intellectual consequence of the economic crisis was to undermine neoliberalism as the age’s default ideology.

Issue 34 Head Case

Civilian, child, refugee: according to the logic of the war on terror, they’re all always enemy combatants.

Issue 29 Bottoms Up

The promise of ride-sharing is that it complements public transit. In practice, it eliminates it.