11.03.2008

A Good Think: Upending Assumptions

What's better? The Think - a 95% recyclable electric car built in Norway and coming soon to America - or a Hummer running a modified jet engine?

Before you get out your list of pros vs. cons about Prius vs. performance, consider one more factor.
What if the Hummer is a hybrid electric/biodiesel, gets more than 60 miles per gallon and does zero to 60 in five second flat?

The answer of course is "Yes, ple
ase."

An
article in the New York Times earlier this month started with a Think and went on to talk at length about how green innovation is being driven by private venture funding and entrepreneurial capitalism. More on this article to come in a future post. Because the piece reminded me of a Fast Company article from this time last year, which featured a Detroit mechanic/ professional car hacker named Johnathan Goodwin w
ho not only tricks out the cars of celebrities to get 100 mpg, but has also created a $5,000 bolt-on kit which transforms any diesel vehicle to burn 50% less fuel and produce 80% fewer emissions.

Just how widespread this sort of innovation becomes depends in part on resistance from the automotive market. Which, of course, depends in part on upcoming days at the polls and how well promises are kept once candidates become incumbents. Democracy: one more reminder of the value of challenging assumptions.

2 comments:

R Michael Hendrix said...

Your comment on industry resistance is loud and clear. Neither solution is from U.S. automakers.... they continue to seek a bailout and resist designing products we want. Instead they design products that are incremental adaptations of their current capabilities.... they're efficiently making products that no one wants to buy.

Super Mo said...

These are amazing ideas and I am very disappointed that they are not coming from the American Auto Industry. Mother Necessity truly does inspire.

AIR (a CAV- Compressed Air Vehicle- I'm impressed!)
http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/106040/Air-Cars:-A-New-Wind-for-America's-Roads

NANO
http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/10/tata-nano-the-worlds-cheapest-car/

Also... Kudos to Sebastian Loeb and Daniel Elena winning the World Rally Championship title driving for Citroen in a C4 hybrid vehicle!!!

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