Our goal is not necessarily to make people move less, although we should look for solutions to reduce cars around and shipments where possible. As we have seen in recent months, economies suffer when people are forced to stay close to home. Instead we want more people and goods to travel, but without polluting. one of the many reflections in a recent post by Bill Gates who in the very popular blog GatesNotes talked about mobility, underlining the importance of the electric car and its key role in environmental protection. But at the same time he recognizes the problems and thinks at length about alternative fuels.

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a post that also remembers the weight of what is happening in the world. The only reassuring data on the pandemic that I have analyzed so far estimate that the economic slowdown due to the coronavirus has reduced global emissions by about 8%. Not much. But if we want to tackle climate change, we must live our daily lives with activities that do not release greenhouse gases, starting with how we move. This is why de-carbonizing our journeys, even if they constitute only 16% of the harmful substances that pour into our planet, is essential if we want to reach the goal of zero emissions in transport, writes the founder of Microsoft who today is dedicated to philanthropy , backed by a net worth – second Forbes – of 108.8 billion dollars. The first in the world.

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How can this be done? Gates knows the simple answer, but much less concretizing it: use electricity to run all possible vehicles and get cheap alternative fuels for everything else. The good news that we have made a lot of progress on electric vehicles – the Seattle genius points out – the batteries that power them have seen a drop in price of 85% since 2010, so they are becoming cheaper to buy, although they are still more expensive than gas options. Additionally, increased competition in the market means there are more choices available to customers, from compact sedans to elegant sports cars. A fully electric pickup will soon be available thanks to historic companies such as GM and Ford and new manufacturers such as Rivian and Bollinger. Of course, there remains the problem of autonomy and batteries (The more you use, the more weight you add and the more power you need) so that electricity works when necessary to cover short distances, but we need a different solution for heavy long-haul vehicles. argues Gates.

here that according to the founder of Microsoft cheaper alternative fuels come into play, starting with biofuels: some are made from plants that are not grown to be eaten, others from agricultural by-products such as corn stalks and pulp that remains from paper production. I am optimistic about these biofuels, but research into advanced ones is still underfunded and not ready to be deployed at the scale we need. The route, however, traced. Switching to electric vehicles and alternative fuels is the most effective way to achieve zero emissions in the transport sector although there are other measures we can take to reduce them. Such as the use of lower carbon-intensive materials to produce cars, the use of fuels more efficiently and a studied limitation of travel when possible. But technologies must become much cheaper than they are today. This means finding ways to produce them on a large scale and making sure they perform comparably to their fossil fuel counterparts. reads on Gates’ blog.

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On these issues, Gates had already illustrated his visions in a long interview, granted last February, to the American youtuber Marques Brownlee (reviewer of hi-tech devices with more than 10 million followers): he had talked about electric mobility as the only possible future of the automotive industry and the necessity, on the part of consumers, to overcome anxieties related to the range of these new vehicles. The subject of the conversation was also the purchase by Gates of a Porsche Taycan, the first electric car of the German brand of which the founder of Microsoft has always been passionate as evidenced by his collection which includes a 911 Carrera, a 959 Coup and a 930 Choice that had made Elon Musk in a bad mood, who would have liked to see one of his Teslas in the garage of the Seattle genius. Her February 18 tweet came out in an inelegant but fairly controlled way by her standards: My conversations with Gates have been pretty disappointing, to be honest. Moral: in the face of Mr Microsoft, even Tesla’s CEO had to calm down …

September 14, 2020 (change September 14, 2020 | 16:22)

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