Sunday, April 03, 2016

The Auto Industry Gets It - by Daniel Gross

Thanks to cheap gas, Americans are losing interest in efficient, innovative vehicles. Carmakers know better.

The Trailhawk version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is introduced at the New York International Auto Show at the Javits Center on March 23, 2016 in New York City. (Credit: Bryan Thomas/Getty Image) Click to Enlarge.
Last Thursday, Elon Musk unveiled the new Tesla Model 3 electric car.

I’ve been waiting for this announcement for some time; I love the idea of an all-electric vehicle, but I’m not quite ready to shell out 100 grand for the Roadster or $70K for the Model S (as much as I would love to have either).  At a base price of about $35,000, the Model 3 line is a lot more affordable.

The media, of course, have been all over the announcement, and I’ve enjoyed reading what people are saying.  What I haven’t seen as much buzz about, though (aside from a mention here or there) is how Musk started off his presentation:  Before introducing the new model, he spent several minutes giving details about the current and future effects of global warming:

Sometimes, I really like that guy.

His concern is real, and well-placed.  The points he makes are legit.  Carbon dioxide levels are screaming upward, temperatures are screaming upward, and we’re facing a new and rapidly changing world.

And that’s really the important piece.  It’s getting hotter faster than it has in a dozen millennia at least.  There’s been more CO2 in the air in the past, temperatures have been hotter in the past; but those changes happened slowly, over tens or hundreds of thousands of years.  We’re seeing those same changes now happening in centuries.  Less.
Will electric cars save the world?  Not alone, they won’t.  But moving to solar, wind, and nuclear power (as well as other carbon-neutral sources) to feed our energy-hungry machinery could very well be what we need to keep our planet from becoming an alien world.

Read more at The Auto Industry Gets It

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