Graph 1: Correlation between petrol prices in the UK (above) and public interest in electric cars, as illustrated by Google searches on the term ‘electric car’
Similarly, Google queries can help predict economic activity, providing a real time report on query volume, while economic data is typically released several days after the close of the month. Given this time lag, it is not implausible that Google queries in a category like "Automotive/Vehicle Shopping" during the first few weeks of November may help predict what actual November automotive sales will be like when the official data is released halfway through December. Our work to date is summarized in a paper called Predicting the Present with Google Trends. We find that Google Trends data can help improve forecasts of the current level of activity for a number of different economic time series, including automobile sales, home sales, retail sales, and travel behavior.
Electric cars are useful in small doses, and can be beneficial for the environment. However, they cannot, and should not, be used to replace cars on the mass scale. We need more efficient long distance transportation systems for cargo and passengers, such as electrified rail.http://www.selfdestructivebastards.com/2009/10/electric-cars-in-small-doses.html
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