Cars are transit, sure. But increasingly, with all of our cell phones, notebook PCs, MP3 players, & other electronics gear, they’re also serving as mobile office & entertainment hubs. Given that, why are we still stuck with these lousy 12-volt power ports (formally, ANSI/SAE J563) in our cars?
The Toyota Matrix (a.k.a. Pontiac Vibe) has had on-board standard 115V power outlets for several years. Mercury Hybrid Mariner, Volkswagen Touareg, & Honda Odyssey van all have AC outlets now. So it’s high time the other automakers get on-board with this idea. As our dependance upon gadgets & mobility continues to exponentially increase, automakers should be adapting to meet these new needs by making power outlets a standard on all cars. Considering that you can buy a top-notch power inverter for less than $30, surely the added expense for automakers to build that functionality right in at the factory (beginning at the drawing-board stage) would have to be nominal.
And y’know, there’s a little "Oliver Stone-esqe" part lodged deep in my primative monkey brain that wonders if there might just be some minor conspiracy at work here. Manufacturing & marketing all those assorted power inverters & "cigarette lighter" chargers for every gizmo known to man is probably quite a profitable business, after all. Maybe "big electronics" is in cahoots with "big oil" in a dastardly & insidious plot to keep us all hopelessly strung-out on all those annoying, blister-pack-bound, cheap whatzits & doodads for the obsolete car power port.
What do you think? Isn’t it time for the old 12-volt power port to go away?