I would argue from the second half of the 20th century to present, man has become the freest to travel compared to anyone else in the history of mankind.
I would also argue with the invention of the internal combustion engine, paved roadways and affordable automobiles, our ability to freely move is mind-boggling.
I enjoy reading old newspapers from the turn of the 19th century. It was very common that a visitor from a nearby town made the news. Today no one thinks twice of running down to the valley or up to Colfax. We jump in our car and within a half hour or 45 minutes we are at our destination.
The vehicle has a nice radio system to play some great country music or the latest podcast. Its heater keeps us warm or the air conditioning keeps us cool. Satellites help guide us to our destination without having to read a map or stop and ask for directions.
Maybe along the way you see a cool old barn and decide to stop and take a photo. Maybe today you try to (legally) beat your best time to the desired destination. It could be the day to try a different route to see some new sites along the way. Who knows?
All of these decisions are ours to make. We have an amazing amount of freedom when we travel in our own automobile.
Remember the freedom you felt when you got your drivers license? Taking a car and going wherever? Even a trip to the store was fun. The joy of having your friends come along to a movie or go out 4-bying (mudding).
But our beloved automobiles have been under attack and soon our freedom to freely travel may be constrained. The internal combustion engine is under massive scrutiny. Because they are run by fossil fuels, it is believed the use of our vehicles is causing massive environmental damage.
Environmentalist and left-leaning governmental heads are pushing electric vehicles on citizens. There haven’t been great discussions about the heavy metals in the massive batteries, what happens to the huge number of batteries when they go bad, and where all the electricity will be generated. Even assuming those are not problems there is the issue of re-charging the vehicles.
I am not against electric vehicles. My point is that a personally owned vehicle provides the freedom of travel to the average citizen.
Depending on the trip you are taking it may be necessary to recharge or refill your vehicle. Right now, in less than 10 minutes I can be in and out of a gas station.
In an electric vehicle, the recharge times range widely between one to 12 hours. A five-hour trip across the state could take more than half a day.
This negatively impacts the freedom of travel. Let’s compare two vehicles that have the ability to move the same distance on a full tank of gas or a full charge. Each vehicle will travel approximately 300 miles until it is necessary to renew its energy source. The gas vehicle will be moving again in 10 minutes. The electric vehicle is moving in one hour under the best possible situation and most likely it will take many hours.
A trip across Montana might take 10 to 11 hours with an internal combustion engine where a trip in an electric vehicle could easily take 24 hours to travel the same distance.
Until the recharging of electric vehicle batteries becomes a quick stop, the electric vehicle will not be a reasonable alternative to the internal combustion engine when it comes to freely moving about.
If, and when, the day comes that we can recharge a battery as quick as a gas stop then electric vehicles will become king of the road. Until then, forcing an inferior automobile on the citizens is nothing short of a government imposed restriction on our ability to move freely.
Scotty Anderson is a computer programmer who enjoys serving the community through various community-oriented service jobs.