Alternative cars > = < Alternative fuels? Ready... fight!

Yesterday, we brought you a post linking to comments by Vinod Khosla. Most of the points in that piece were directed towards the energy sector in general and did not focus on the transportation sector in specific. Khosla argued that the world should be focusing on the technologies that are not only green, but also financially attractive to the countries which would be building them. Today, we bring you a posting from Harriet Williams that focuses on energy needs in the automotive sector. This is an interesting argument that she makes, if I read it right, namely that we should focus on more fuel efficient cars, and not so much on alternative fuels. I can agree with the point in general, but will consumers want to buy those cars? Just as Khosla argues that we need to focus on power technologies that countries will adopt, so too the argument could be made that we should focus on cars that consumers want to buy. Yes, alternative cars like the Prius have been selling well, but to whom, and compared to what? Not everyone out there is going to buy that type of vehicle, and with good reason. Many families can only have one car, and that one car must fit into a variety of roles, some of which a small, fuel efficient car cannot fulfill. Others will only buy high-performance cars, be it a BMW sedan or a Corvette. So, in short, what I am getting to is that we need more alternative choices like the Prius, but we also need biofuels. Combining the two to make a vehicle such as the Chevy Volt may be just the ticket for a growing number of ecologically-aware individuals and families.

Combine the fuel efficient cars and hybrids with the less fuel efficient cars running biofuels and the new, improved "green-grid" (I just made that up, I like it!) that Khosla spoke of for charging up new electric cars which should hit the market and we may have a workable scenario, for the U.S. at least. Comments, questions or snide remarks anyone?

[Source: Harriet Williams / The Ecologist via Bill Totten's blog]

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