Wednesday, July 9, 2008

driving, driving

In the 1990's Saturn had created and was leasing to the public the very first modern electric car in California. However, it was shortly shut down and all the cars were destroyed, not because of safety standards, but it was instead speculated to be pressure from big oil companies and the government. This has all been documented in the film "Who Killed the Electric Car".

Since the release of that movie, petrol prices have now soared to close to $150/barrel and this in turn has stimulated discussion on the future of our automobiles. The New York Times today released an article "Designing Cars for Low-Carbon Chic". An idea I liked from this article stresses how "instead of selling cars based on the size of the engine, the car’s relationship with its surroundings and how it interacts with people should be increasingly important".

While I think it's sad that we had and destroyed the technology over 10 years ago that could deal with cleaner emissions and the rising cost of fuel, I believe that we now have it in us to continue to pursue these technologies and create a new transport economy that is not dependent on fuel. Returning back to the quote, "the stone age did not end, because we ran out of stone.". Whether one agrees that there is an oil crises or not, creating more efficient technologies can only be beneficial all around in the long run.

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