A Clean Technology Investor’s Perspective on the Energy Future

Flying cars that run on electricity are being developed and could be market ready within five years, according to Andrew Beebe, managing director at Obvious Ventures. He also sees changes on the horizon toward modern and spacious prefab homes and a move to plant-based protein.

This may all sound like parts of a science fiction movie set in the future, but the technologies are being developed and researched now.

At an Oct. 2 talk at the California Energy Commission, Beebe said flying electric cars will transform the state’s infrastructure. He discussed a landscape where parking structures could have multiple uses such as takeoff and landing points, as well as locations for charging vehicles.

As infrastructure changes to support new modes of transportation, there will be implications on how electricity is moved around, he said.

“With every single company Obvious Ventures invests in we ask ourselves if the company is world positive – are they building something in the direction that humanity wants to go,” Beebe said.

Obvious Ventures is a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that is rethinking how investments with positive social and environmental benefits can change the world.

With these changes, Beebe believes the world will replace fossil fuels with renewable sources and move toward electrification.

He looks to the research and development investments made by entities, like the Energy Commission, as markers to reaching, and ultimately surpassing, state environmental goals.

The Energy Commission invests about $120 million a year through the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program to support innovations and strategies to advance clean energy technologies that help California meet its energy and climate goals.

EPIC is designed to drive commercial adoption of new technologies through early engagement of customers. Some of these emerging technologies are already in use by early adopters and are being tested in homes and businesses.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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