Electric and gas are the primary choices we have for vehicles. It seems like the 21st century would have given us far more choices than those simple two electric and gas. We have had a vast many technological advances, including space travel, micro computers, laser surgery, etc … and yet the most we have gotten in advancement in personal travel is electric and gas.
Electric and gas are both rather aged technologies. Although the electric car is fairly new, there have been several modes of transportation moved by electricity. Mass transit has been able to take advantage of electric power for years because of the ability to move large amounts of weight on a specific route. In order to transfer the technology to personal modes of transportation there was a need to free the vehicle from the limitations of a train, cable car, or bus route. It would also need a means to store the power in a small amount of weight. The weight of batteries needed to store electricity for a short distance was vast and outweighed the capacity of the engine powering the vehicles until just recently.
Electric and gas both have their own downsides. Electric and gas also have a tremendous history of positive benefits that we all enjoy immensely. Electric often is sourced in burning coal, or nuclear. The coal although much cleaner than it ever was before is still a blight in both the burning and even more so in the mining. Mines are dangerous for the men and women who work in them, but they have a devastating almost slave like effect on the communities where the mines are located. The families feel no hope of escaping as generation after generation enter the mines and only exit after years and full of disease or in a wooden box. Nuclear seems less hazardous to the communities until you receive the annual emergency warning with procedures to follow in the event of a nuclear disaster. The details about where to find your kids when they have been bused out of the danger zone to multiple locations depending on the weather and the severity of the disaster. This doesn't even cover the disposal of the nuclear waste which wee have no idea how long the danger exist or if we can adequately secure the waste against leakage or other damage.
Gas clearly has contributed to smog and pollution with the vast amount of gas used everyday in our cities and in the country. However, the damages from gas maybe even more far reaching. The wars that have been fought over oil rights to secure that black gold in order to refine the oil into the precious commodity that all of us consume everyday gas. Even for those of you who don't drive a car, ride a bus, take a train, or fly anywhere, still in all likelihood, the food you eat, the clothes you wear, your books or your computer were shipped in some mode of transportation that consumed vast amounts of petroleum products of some sort.
Electric and gas still have made our lives significantly different than they were 120 years ago when there was no access to either electric or gas. The advancement of technology made possible by rapid travel that allowed us to experience more and the rapid communication exchange that allowed ideas to be combined and advanced our cultural development at an astonishing rate. Even medical and health advancements have been aided tremendously by the use of electric and gas.