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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kids and 100 mpg *are* our future.

This is cool. A group of West Philadelphia high school students, working with limited budget and after school, are continuing their pursuit of a street-legal car that gets 100 miles to the gallon in terms of fuel economy. It’s part of Progressive Insurance’s Automotive X PRIZE competition, open to anyone, pros and joes alike. (One of the entrants is Aptera, a company we visited on tour.) This isn’t some electric car weighing 50 lbs either. It’s an adapted Ford Focus that can reach 120 mph and capable of 0 - 60 in 5 secs.

I love that they can hold their own against major competitors, (for now). I just have to wonder why are we so late to develop this though. (#rhetorical.) Big oil and the industrial complex’s dependence on it is why. Otherwise, wouldn’t some president with vision have challenged the nation to come up with this years ago, the way Kennedy aimed for the moon? Sorry to get all political, but if we had that initiative, we would have no need to be overseas looking for oil, for the pump is mightier than the sword.

And at 100 mpg, we would control a lot of pumps. Only in the past five years has the stigma of hybrid gone away for the industry, and this will be the challenge, not the development of the technology. It’s going to be more a matter of how do we not flood the market with cheap energy so that it causes economic ripple effects globally.

End of rant. Props to the kids.

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