October 29, 2019
While it’s hard to know whether flying cars will ever become a commercial reality, they could help solve a major climate problem. Aviation, which makes up about 2 percent of global carbon emissions, will be one of the hardest parts of the economy to decarbonize. Scientists have yet to invent a cheap renewable fuel as dense with energy as the jet fuel burned by massive airliners. Although even Lilium doubts that its battery-powered taxis will ever be a substitute for long-haul air travel, they could eventually replace the short hops made by commuters and business travelers.
A few years back, I was moderating a conversation with the futurist of a car manufacturer. Because any conversation that involves a futurist and cars leads eventually to the question of flying cars, I remember some in the audience asking about them. The answer was, at that time, both refreshing and insightful. To me. I’m paraphrasing here, but the essence was: if we can build flying cars, we will not need cars because they will not make any sense. Energetically speaking.
Looking at this report from the Atlantic, I guess futurists from car manufacturers have a certain bias. Energetically speaking, of course.