The Green Car Manifesto Nobody Asked For

For much of the decade — let’s call it 2008-2018 — most of my contributions to Clean Technica “Corporate” came through Gas2. Gas2, for those of you who have never read it, had two slogans over the years. An official one was: “Gas 2.0: the future of fuel”, and an unofficial one that was a little more nuanced: “Green cars that don’t suck”.

Admittedly, it’s a bit vague. Still, I think that can sum it up pretty well by sharing a little exchange I had with someone at Cars.com on the Ford C-Max. At the time, Ford was embroiled in a drama surrounding the car’s claimed fuel economy, and my fellow reporter asked me how Gas2 would cover the “scandalous” story.

“We’re probably not going to talk about everything,” I replied. “Because the C-Max sucks.”

Ford C-Max hybrid

Image courtesy of Ford.

Almost ten years later, I still stand by that statement. At its best, the C-Max was designed as some kind of space egg, was far too large to be sporty or nimble, and tried so, very hard to sell itself on the merits of efficiency and the logic. And, don’t get me wrong, it was efficient and logical…but this is America, and we don’t buy vehicles based on efficiency. (If you don’t believe me, count the number of vans you see on the road with empty beds the next time you drive anywhere.)

Why am I talking about all this? ‘Cause I recently came across Gas2 The “About Us” page on an old backup drive, and I felt like it could do with a little updating (especially since, you know, Gas2 no longer really exists). So this is it Gas2 Personal Green Car Manifesto by Jo Borrás. Enjoy!

Green cars that don’t suck

Image courtesy of Everatti.

I believe cuddling trees and burning rubber (good, that’s been debunked) can co-exist. When I read about a car I mean 60′ and 1/4 mile times, custom builds, four wheel drifts, while having – of course – a planet we can do those things. Most important, I think, is that I want to show the enthusiast community – the “gears” and hot-rodders – that green cars don’t suck.

There’s a bit more to me than that, of course – if only fair. I like to think I can hold on to a few beliefs here. Nothing hard, fast and absolute. Generally speaking, you know? And I like to think that my 25 years of automotive experience would confirm some of the following:

  • THE COMING THE PRESENT IS ELECTRIC — My career as an automotive journalist was born just as the 2008 housing bubble burst and the global economy crashed. At the time, it felt like there were many ways things could have happened, and a biofuel future seemed just as likely as a hydrogen or battery future – but electricity has won. The electrics won, and that’s great, because this soccer mom in the Kia electric crossover can rip off 12-second 1/4 mile passes anytime, day or night!
  • THE BEST WAY TO APPRECIATE NATURE IS TO GO THERE – Long-time readers have probably seen this line a few times, and I still stand by it. I believe that love of nature is, and should be, at the heart of environmental conservation efforts. This love, more than the fear of nature’s wrath in the form of wildfires, hurricanes and deadly heat waves, is what will motivate people to make the right environmental choices. As such, I want to encourage people to visit US national parks, European mountain passes, Australian coral reefs and Costa Rican cloud forests – and I want to cover RVs, ATVs, motorbikes everything -terrain, watercraft and cool camping rigs because these things make the outdoors more fun, more accessible and more inclusive.
  • TWO WHEELS ARE BETTER THAN FOUR — Whether motorbikes, mopeds or bicycles, bicycles require fewer raw materials to build, operate and maintain than cars. It’s just physics. While nearly three out of four vehicles in the United States spend most of their time transporting a single occupant (or, worse: parked!), switching to bikes is just a good idea – and a whole lot more fun!
  • THE GREENEST CAR YOU CAN BUY IS ONE THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN BUILT / WE WILL NOT CONSUME OUR WAY OUT OF THIS — No matter what fuel you use it on, building a new car literally takes tons of raw materials. These materials need to be mined, refined, transported, processed, machined, then transported a few more times, and probably painted for good measure. Scrapping a car that consumes 25 MPG to drive an EV will not offset those carbon emissions for years. What does that mean? This means that, if what you’re really trying to do is reduce carbon emissions, you might want to think about keeping the car you have on the road. bit longer (otherwise a plot longer!). When it comes to custom builds, I want to celebrate people and projects that reduce waste, reuse materials, and recycle parts however they can while trying to bring something new, but not entirely new, to life.
  • INTERNAL COMBUSTION IS NOT DEAD, YET “Remember that thing about electric victory? Well, the internal combustion engine will be around for a few more years, and it’s not quite out of tricks just yet. Also, ignoring ICE benefits Is having in terms of energy density, infrastructure and market support will not make it disappear any faster. As such, I plan to celebrate real improvements over time, because the better, and I don’t want to make perfection the enemy of progress.

That’s pretty much all I have.

If you’ve read this far, then maybe you like what you’ve read and want to read more. It’s cool, and I hope you will visit Clean Technica – and comment! – often. So, until the next article is published, I would like to invite you to sign up for one of our newsletters, check out the CleanTech Talk podcast, and stop by our YouTube page once in a while.

Finally, I’m far from the only person writing about electric vehicles here on Clean Technica. If you hated what you just read and are an EV maximalist: It’s awesome! All that helps move the needle, and you can read more from great writers like Steve Hanley, Carolyn Fortuna, Jennifer Sensiba, Tina Casey, and (of course) the great Zachary Shahan.

Original content from Gas2 Clean Technica.


 


 

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