"Cars were a bubble just like the housing market was a bubble. That's going to depress demand in subsequent years." - Mike DiGiovanni, the head of sales analysis for General Motors. Via article at culturechange.org. Hat tip MM
And now for something completely different...
Hat tip: Roger D.
Ford and other automakers are hedging their bets on internal combustion, and dipping their tows into all-electric cars. The New York Times has a report from the Detroit Auto Show.
Hawaii has signed a deal to deploy a network of electric car charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles. They envision the bulk of electric cars will be charged at home in a garage; however, the roadside stations will complement this strategy with battery-swaps for extended range.
Hawaii is a good candidate for this strategy for two reasons:
The availability and price of gasoline are not really on my radar. I bike as my primary means of transportation and use TARC as a backup plan. However, I know that gasoline prices have been going up steadily. I have heard rumors that gasoline is harder to get after this weekend's windstorm, due to interruptions in the supply and gas stations being closed due to lack of electrcity. I have seen long lines at the gas pumps. However, I have been amazed by the fact that I still see hordes of people out cruising around in their motor vehicles. I am amazed by my neighbors' willingness to burn gasoline to run their generator so they can watch TV. So when I saw this entry on the blog Sustainable77095, I could relate:
From the Oil Drum:
Have you ever stood at the bus stop watching hundreds of cars go by and wondered just how many of those cars are headed to the same place you want to go? Wouldn't it be great if you could just stick out your thumb and get a quick ride rather than waiting 10 minutes for the old bus?
TIME Magazine lists "10 Things You Can Like About $4 Gas." Some are obvious (less pollution? really?), but there are a few surprises, such as "more cops on the beat." My favorite line: "cops are being told to cut down on idling their cruisers — which is sort of like telling a teenager to stop using his cell phone."
The C-J deduces that state gas tax revenue loss from high oil prices might impact our ability to buy new or maintain old automotive infrastructure: Falling gas sales could hurt state road projeccts. In related news, Ford management declares focus on smaller vehicles is 'permanent', bad news for the local SUV plant workers.
Ear X-Tacy's concert tonight by Louisville band My Morning Jacket will draw a capacity crowd of 500 people. The store's owner, John Timmons, suggests in this Courier Journal story that folks attending the show consider taking TARC or carpooling because parking will be scarce.
A bill which passed this legislative session will allow a new, innovative transportation model for seniors to begin providing services in Lexington.
How does it work? Essentially, it's like a private taxi service. Folks pay an annual membership fee of around $50. They then pay a per-ride fee of $4-7 plus $1/mile. Individuals who don't have much money can donate their car to the program's vehicle pool, and then they get ride credits for the value of the car. Afflilate groups in the 8 other cities that have adapted this model have also gotten businesses, such as pharmacies, banks, and doctors' offices, to sponsor the service for low-income folks.