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Time For More Energy Efficient Solutions With Public Infrastructure

Everything in time deteriorates. Whether through the concept of planned obsolescence or natural decay, things break, fall apart, and lose efficiency. This deterioration is no different when it comes to energy, infrastructure, and technology. This is why there has been a surge in public demand and governmental response to improve energy consumption and public infrastructure.

The bill known as the Build-Back-Better plan provides a two-pronged approach. First, the “human infrastructure” and “physical infrastructure” are included in the Build-Back-Better plan currently proposed before the United States Congress. Actually, the bill is in two parts, with the human infrastructure being a more extensive, separate component of the physical roads-and-bridges aspect of the bill.

The impetus for these governmental programs is to improve and make more efficient the roadways and energy demands of the public, to move away from fossil fuel dependency and toward more sustainable energy options.

The Need For Improved Public Infrastructure

The roadways are needed for major overhauls. A recent report was that 20% of the nation’s highways were already at a stress point and could collapse at any moment.

The nation’s highways and roads were created by the Federal Highway Act of 1956, which means much of the arteries for transportation and commerce are carried over roads and bridges that are almost 70 years old and desperately in need of repair and upgrades.

The antiquated roadway system and diminishing resources have created a crisis point that needs to be addressed. There are public and private solutions in the works to address energy demands and limit the impact on climate.

Knowing this, the Biden Administration has drafted a proposal that would create jobs, move the energy sector to a more sustainable model, improve the fuel standards, repair and replace existing infrastructure, and improve the technology of the United States.

Part of the plan is to create incentives for consumer use, provide additional tax credits and benefits to move to more sustainable energy options, and build better infrastructure and transportation options.

One of the innovations being worked on through open-sourcing is the brainchild of Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla. He proposes a public transportation option he calls the hyper-loop, a high-speed train that operates in a vacuum tube with a lower fuel demand.

The Hype Over HyperLoop

In short, a HyperLoop is a train in a vacuum moving at excessive speed, able to cover distances at up to 750 miles per hour. Put in perspective, a HyperLoop from Los Angeles to San Francisco would cover the spread in less than 30 minutes, making transportation of people and goods faster, more efficient, and less pollution associated than with typical fossil-fuel driven vehicles and planes.

The dream of a HyperLoop is based on eliminating the two factors affecting speed and energy consumption. Those two factors are friction and air resistance. By placing the train in a vacuum tube, the air resistance is neutralized. Likewise, by guiding the train with magnets rather than traditional rail and wheels, friction becomes negated as well.

While the technology is coming close to reality, there are sticking points to the program. Until these challenges can be met, there will need to be alternative options toward better fuel efficiency and vehicles that can meet these new challenges.

What Can Be Done Now

In the meantime, the public can take actions that private industry, paired with the government, can take to improve transportation, fuel efficiency, and infrastructure needs.

The first thing that companies and private businesses can do is improve on existing technology, eliminate the concept of planned obsolescence, create better fuel standards in their vehicles, and focus efforts on more sustainable fuel options.

For example, Tesla is an electric-powered vehicle that has driven car standards to meet new highs with fuel efficiency. As such, governmental incentives and investments into public electric charging stations have made new electric and hybrid vehicles a reality for most people.

The move to more sustainable fuel options for cars doesn’t leave the consumer in a lurch. Instead, there are more and more efficient charging options, led, of course, by Tesla. In fact, the Tesla charge time for at-home charging is causing competitors to up their game and improve both battery time and charge time.

Until the infrastructure package is passed, the public demand for more sustainable and energy-efficient solutions will need to be met by private entities like Tesla and others.

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