Can you imagine a future--thirty-nine years from now--where there are no engines humming, no exhaust smells, no car sounds of any kind in the city except the presumably Jetsons-like beeping of EVs? The European Commission, the governing body of the European Union, can, and it has a transportation proposal aiming to do just that by 2050.
Keeping all gasoline and diesel powered cars out of urban centers is an impossible, impractical dream right now--there simply isn't any efficient alternative to preserve mobility without combustion-powered cars. But the EU thinks it could be possible by 2050. If that sounds like a long way out to you, consider that the same agencies within the EC only see half of Europe's vehicle fleet being zero-emission (tailpipe emission, presumably) by 2030.
Seeking to replace combustion-powered cars with a more efficient "road, rail, air and water" transportation network to include a large shift in freight from roads to the other methods of transport.
The motivation? Reduced foreign oil dependence, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased jobs within the EU, and improved infrastructure for future economic growth.
What do you think of the idea? Is 2050 a reasonable time frame? Will EV technology be far enough along to replace the demand for personal mobility only an automobile can provide? Will production capacity of those EVs be high enough to meet the demand the populations of 2050 will produce? If it is a workable idea, could it also work here? For a peek at what may lie ahead, be sure to read John Voelcker's take on the topic at AllCarsElectric.
You can grab the full report at the European Commissions's Transport page. Let us know your answers, thoughts, or concerns in the comments below.