The end of the gas-powered car isn’t far off

Lost in all the back-patting and credit-grabbing in today’s announcement that Ford will not ship some car production to Mexico is this nugget: Gasoline-powered cars are not far from being eclipsed by electric ones.

“Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years,” Ford President and CEO Mark Fields said in his statement today.

Part of what will make that possible is a wireless technology that Ford is developing that will make recharging electric vehicles not much different than pulling into a gasoline station.

Which brings up a few questions: What happens to gas stations? Presumably, they will now become “electric stations,” although we will continue to call them gas stations.

But will we need them?

Ford is developing FordPass, which uses electrified parking spots to recharge vehicles. Using a smartphone, electric car owners can reserve and pay for the parking spots and recharging.

Of more importance, however, is how transportation will be funded when gasoline is so … well.. today in 2030? A “gas tax” funds the bulk of the state’s transportation infrastructure and it already has been increasingly squeezed by the fact cars are more fuel efficient now than years ago. How long will it take the Legislature to adjust its funding system to an entirely new transportation system that Ford envisions?