Just as interesting as the article are the comments. What I find especially useful is the discussion about a new transportation paradigm. The current paradigm is the road-tripping vehicle. As notd by the commenters, both the industry and consumers seem focused on range and how far a vehicle can go before being refueled. Perhaps that shouldn’t be the central criterion. Localization is a sensible way to go in terms of overall conservation and sustainability. Why not split our paradigm into long-range and short-range vehicles? (Obvious issues here would include the current practice of the long-range commute; in the ATL most commutes were between forty minutes to an hour–things aren’t too much different here…) My favorite over the scooter is the electric-assist bike, The technology is still in process but is getting better all the time. And if your batteries do give out, you can just pedal it….
Our grocery store is maybe a half-mile from the house. I don’t know about our preferred single major weekly shopping trip, but for the one-off trips (Lil H’s soy-milk in particular), I’m thinking the bike is the way to go. I spent Labor Day Weekend with a bike repair manual from the library going over my old beater to get it back into road condition. (It’s currently sidelined as I discovered a tire puncture I haven’t patched up yet.) It’s cheap and isn’t something I’d want to race or take long trips on (my SIL is thinking about getting into triathalons and would like us to join her…) but would be great for a short-range cargo bike given some basket, panniers, and a decent lock.