For far too long, green cars have been perceived as lacking in both style and power, with designs and drivetrains optimized for efficiency, rather than thrills. But some exciting entries into the segment have been chipping away at preconceived notions of what it means to drive green.
Nations such as South Korea, Japan, and China are aggressively investing billions of dollars in research and development and incentivizing deployment of EVs to capture large shares in this growing worldwide sector. We should too.
During the annual inspection of my station wagon, my car guy told me how excited he was about the future of the automobile: the promise of electric cars, battery improvements, near-zero emissions and high-mileage.
"I don't know if I could have a car without a bed in it." San Francisco artist Jay Nelson has put beds into nearly every vehicle he's ever owned, including a semi-totalled Honda Civic (bought for $200) and a tiny rowboat (found on Craigslist).
An in-depth study by the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory shows that hybrid cars do, in fact, require more energy to produce than conventional cars. The are emitting more greenhouse gases and burning more fossil fuels during the manufacturing process.
The Obama administration has proposed rules that would determine how far 2025 cars go on a gallon of gas. Surprisingly, though, auto companies can dictate how successful the program will be. This presents Detroit with an unusual challenge.
So what was a sustainable girl like me doing looking at some of the world's greatest Mercedes, Packard, Rolls Royce, Bugattis, Lincolns, Cadillacs, among many others? After all, aren't cars the antithesis of green?
Detroit built a car as early as 1953 that would run on any number of fuels, some of which could have been manufactured here. What if the turbine car had gone into wide scale production? Would we still be tied to petroleum?