Cornwall ON – The war against fossil fuel use is taking some interesting steps; sadly not enough in North America. While companies like GM are rolling out an electric car priced far out of the range of those who need or would want it most, Asia, or in this case Korea are addressing the real market needs.
Electric cars that are ready to roll for under $20,000 are a reality, but will they get a chance in North America? These little guys can travel up to 70KM per hour and their batteries generally have enough juice to get a busy city commuter through their day on a single charge.
They aren’t highway cruisers, but where are most of the pollution issues? Big city traffic for short distances are a perfect fit for vehicles like this.
One example of an initiative in Canada is The Kestral from Alberta.
The car’s body will be made of an impact-resistant composite material produced from mats of hemp, a plant from the cannabis family. The material is being supplied by Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures, a provincial Crown corporation that provides technical services and funding to help commercialize new technologies. The hemp is being grown in Vegreville, Alta.
It’s a true Canadian initiative with the motors being built by a Quebec company.
David Suziki & Faisal Moola recently wrote a story about whether the concept of “Private Automobiles” can survive.
Even in China, it’s not all bad news. Although car culture is growing, the use of electric bikes is exploding. In 2008, people in China bought 21 million e-bikes, compared to 9.4 million autos. China now has 120 million electric bikes on the road, up from about 50,000 a decade ago.
The future is now and we have to make some real choices. We need government initiatives to support alternatives like this rather than propping up companies that have failed in the auto sector and we need to make sure that these new technologies create more jobs here at home.
What do you think Canada? You can post your comments below.