For many years, I have been lamenting the fact that we are only one small technology breakthrough away from completely changing the game as far as transportation goes. Electric vehicles have always made a lot of sense to me. The infrastructure for power transportation is there. The engines run very efficiently and cleanly. There are many ways (both clean and conventional) for generating the power. But the battery is the piece that has lagged behind. It is clear that nothing for many years (other than laptops and cell phones) have been pushing battery technology in much of a way.
In the meantime, the car and oil industry seem to put one distraction after another in front of this progress rather than investing in this (definitely challenging) technical problem. Things like ethanol and fuel cell hydrogen systems are brought up which require much more fundamental and long term technology and infrastructure.
Seriously, all we need is a battery pack that is affordable enough for a reasonable family to afford, has a range of 250 miles or so (pulled out of a hat but reasonable of what people expect), and a way to charge in a reasonable amount of time or charge on the fly via generation. Yes, some fairly big issues, but that is all. One invention or breakthrough and the game changes completely. So clear to me this was going to happen regardless of what people did to try to avoid it. Someone will change the world this way. It is the obvious next step (or return to the tracks depending on your point of view).
So we started making the steps. We have solar on our house that generates more than we use and I don't get paid for that extra clean energy (another rant for another day). My commute is 28 miles or so RT. Ideal for a short range EV. However, when I looked at purchasing a used RAV4-EV or find an old ev truck or such, the costs were out of my range. Likewise, with the Tesla announcement. However, when the Mini-E trial came up. I figured it was worth applying.
I applied to the program and was accepted (being in the correct region with the capability helped for sure). And so we have begun that adventure. Is it worth it? I certainly will not make back the investment. However, I can afford it and I hope to contribute to proving both to myself and others that this will work for most people and it is the direction we need to go.