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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Past, Present & Future

I was taking a leisurely drive with my wife through rural north-western New Jersey and we came across this old abandoned gas station. I just had to stop for a photo-op. I couldn't let the irony of me driving by the old rusting gas pumps go without being documented!

The pumps say "Flying A" and I had never seen this gas company and assumed that the company was no longer in business. However I did a quick search and found that there are still some Flying A gas stations in business, just none here in NJ.

This confrontation of the past and present begs the question "What's the future?" Where are we going with personal transportation? Will electric vehicles be widely accepted? Will a dark horse like hydrogen fuel cell vehicles become the preferred mode of transportation, or will we just continue to burn oil until we are so perilously low on the stuff and prices skyrocket to unthinkable levels?

Me with my MINI-E & solar system
My personal experience of driving an electric car and charging it with clean, renewable energy I generate from sunlight makes me believe this method will eventually win. The battery prices for electric cars continue to drop, just as a variety of more efficient battery chemistries are well into development. Just like the batteries, solar electric systems are becoming more and more affordable every day and the panels are getting more and more efficient. Indeed the future looks bright for electric cars. It's going to take some time to break the stranglehold that oil has on us, but in my opinion it will happen. The combination of EV + PV is just too good to fail.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Welcome to the post, Great pic.
    Peder, spouse of an ActiveE driver

  3. Love the old pumps. You should find out about salvaging.

  4. Matt: There are a lot of places to buy old gas pumps the are in much better condition than these were. I figure the owner of this site has probably turned down many requests to sell them. It's right on a main road in the town so a lot of people know about it. Anyway, I think they look great in their natural setting as is and I bet the people that live in the town Belvidere, NJ think so also.

  5. Cool pictures Tom. My experience with "what the future might bring" shows that the biggest obstacle we have is ignorance. People don't know what modern EVs are about and understand extended range EVs even less. Then there is the old mindset that they have to be able to drive coast-to-coast on a single charge before they will accept an EV. It's crazy. Take a rail line then rent an EV while there. That kind of mental change takes a lot of effort to make.