Bhutan, BOOM

bteLadies and gentlemen, we have our first country: essentially all electric vehicles, per national policy.  Bhutan had been in talks with Nissan; now, the nation’s soliciting Mitsubishi and Mahindra.  Bhutan can leapfrog to the future: no fossil burners (and thus money burners).

Bhutan’s in a precarious position.  Physically, they’re at the top of the world, the Himalayas.  Economically, they’re pretty much dependent on India for finished/manufactured goods.  That’d ruin the Bhutanese Ngultrum, except their currency is pegged to the Indian Rupee anyway.  Still, too many Ngultrums go out instead of in.  The one big exception: hydropower.  Like Norway and Iceland, rugged terrain and deep gorges mean abundant clean energy.  Bhutan’s top export (and arguably top product, period) is hydropower; the country exports the clear majority of its generating capacity to India.  Meanwhile, there’s no oil; any vehicle goo has to be purchased with whatever hydro profits are left over.

At least for now.  As a country they wised up; they’ll keep more hydro and Ngultrums local by adding EVs, not oil cages, motorbikes, and scooters.  Really, how hard’s that math?  Easy enough that Japan, France, China, Norway, Iceland, and even parts of Canada (an oil exporter like Norway) realized this.  Even Iran subsidizes EVs due to a trade deficit. Continue reading

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Riding-Season Reasons

It’s 2014, and 238 years for the US.  For motorcycles, and technologic motorcycles at that, might as well be Year Zero.  On hand already, we have:

Zero Motorcycles
Brammo Inc.
Agility Global Ltd.– UK delivery only

And on tap, supposedly this year :

Mission Motorcycles Inc.
Lightning Motorcycles
BRD Motorcycles

This is besides later, more-tentative motorcycles from Yamaha, Energica, Harley-Davidson, KTM, and Voxan, possibly Mugen/Honda, Saroléa, and Tacita.  Plus scooters.  So, one’s a freak, two’s a coincidence, three’s odd, and four’s a fad, right?  Then seven, ten, or more must be a movement.  “There is that sense of being at the beginning of something new, and part of our future… It’s coming,” says American Motorcyclist Association chair Maggie McNally-Bradshaw.  A new way of working has reinvigorated a stale field, perhaps most importantly by enabling new entrants.  Young blood will invite even more young blood. Continue reading