Apple is apparently working on the iCar, which may be available as soon as 2020?
Why mention this in the same breath eCook? Because in a world where electric cars will store enough energy in batteries to self-drive in developed economies, surely we can build and scale out eCook for the 3 billion people still using biomass for cooking in emerging and developing economies?
And of course, the iCar is only one version of self-drive electric cars. We have Tesla, BMW, Audi, Volkswagon, Ford, Volvo among others. All exploring what self-driving cars mean for the future. Indeed we have Germany looking to phase out fossil fuel by 2030.
And why are these this like eCook? Self-drive electric cars are actually built on the same principles that are leading to eCook. Energy storage improvements, that enable an alternative to fossil (and polluting) fuels. A reworking of energy generation and use (the iCar, Tesla, and all the other electric cars will need a change in infrastructure so it can be charged quickly when required). Maximising efficiencies to use the least energy and make the batteries go that bit further. Remote control, to enable a service delivery model. A paradigm shift in concepts of transport and new approaches to the use of cars.
Regarding that last one Self-drive electric cars require a shift in mindset. To date, we have been focused on owning a car. But if via an app we can summon a car whenever we want, will we really want to be paying the parking fees for our ‘owned’ car?
These are all features underlying electric cars, and underlying eCook. We need to leverage the global energy storage improvements to make eCook affordable to the poor. We need to rework and rethink how the eCook energy is generated – is it using legacy old style national grids, or is it an opportunity to enhance the use of decentralized renewables – to restructure the infrastructure? Maximising efficiencies to use the least energy, to ensure affordable tasty meals. And remote control to make a pay as you go service delivery model possible for even those in the remote rural areas of Africa.
And the last one – a paradigm shift in thinking. We have to help agencies and donors consider the emerging opportunities and move away from just throwing money as the biomass problem. There is a fairly damning article here that sums up why a change in thinking is required.
In this coming decade, when self-drive cars are likely to be the norm by 2030, will half the world still be cooking on biomass poisoning themselves, or will we be able to create a revolution (using the tech of iCars and eCooks) that accommodates the rich and the poor?
Just two afterthoughts on electric cars:-
Did you know that Edison had an electric car back in 1914. The dynamics of the magical duo of entrepreneurs and inventors of Ford and Edison meant that the Ford petrol engine won the commercialisation race, and the globe has paid for it ever since (in both buying cars but also in climate change). Imagine, if Edison had won and we had been driving electric cars since that day. Will eCook be able to win the commercialization scaling race over the ongoing use of biomass?)
and we say again…….. 4 million people die prematurely from indoor air pollution associated with biomass cooking. This gets barely mentioned in the press. 4 Million! And yet if there is one death in the self-driving car arena, the whole world knows about it.