Few inventions have revolutionized our modern world like the automobile. It could be argued that the car was one of the inventions that made our world modern. Unfortunately, as it happens with new things, sometimes there are damaging unintended consequences or negative results that could not have been anticipated. TNT comes to mind or as in the case of some life-saving medicines, there are side effects that could cause havoc in — or even kill — a patient.
The car opened up interstate travel. It facilitated the development of the suburb and the exurbs after that. Many industries — with its many corresponding jobs — sprung up to cater to the new driving class. The smog, the long commutes, carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, traffic jams and an unhealthy dependance on foreign oil have come with the many advantages.
A car, being developed by GM and going into showrooms in about a year, is promising to eliminate at least some of those negative aspects of our driving culture. The Volt, which comes with an astonishing 230 MPG rating, runs must of the time on a rechargeable battery pack — weighing in at 400 pounds — aided by a small internal combustion engine. The new car will certainly help with out terrible pollution problem and it will lessen or use of fossil fuel; but the long commutes and the traffic jams will require more time and effort to improve.
Martin LaMonica, of Cnet’s Green Tech, was invited to take the new Volt for a spin:
And here is the article he wrote about the experience.
I am sure there will be some side effects to the new technology, but it does seem like a step in the right direction. A ride in the right direction might be a better term.
Go GM, I’m pulling for you!