Neal Saiki is an aeronautical engineer who has helped create transportation solutions for NASA (including a human-powered helicopter), so he knows what he’s talking about when he insists that soon we’ll all be changing what we drive.
“The era of gas cars which lasted about 100 years is really right at the very end,” he announced to us. “I mean really there just won’t be a need for them other than the coolness of having a loud gas engine. But without that, it’s really very near the end of its era and it’s the beginning of this electric vehicle era.”
Of course, Saiki stands to benefit from this shift. He makes electric motorcycles in the company he started in Scotts Valley (Santa Cruz county, California) with his wife in 2006. From his location in the hub of high tech, he’s well-positioned to see not just where the electric industry is today, but where it’s headed. He argues that those who think battery technology- range, price, recyclability- will limit the growth of EVs just can’t see what’s coming.
“Here in Silicon Valley I’m aware of a lot of companies and they aren’t public and they haven’t made announcements, but they secretly let us know that they are really on the verge of some big breakthroughs with battery technology, making higher capacity batteries, safer batteries, batteries that last basically forever where basically you could recharge them for as many times as you want forever and they would never lose their charge capacity so we’re very very close to having a battery revolution where you’re really going to have no excuses other than to buy an electric vehicle.”
In this video we talk to Zero Motorcycles founder Saiki about the trouble with gas, how electric motors and batteries are improving and why everything is coming together for electric vehicles.