I drive a hybrid. No, not a gas/electric car, but a hybrid bicycle, which combines some of the speed of a road bike and with some of the ruggedness of a mountain bike. A nice compromise if you travel on both paved and unpaved roads.
My choice of ride comes down to a pretty simple philosophy: When possible, choose a vehicle that weighs less than you, rather than one that weighs 40 times more than you. If that makes me a tree hugger, then so be it.
Still, I grew up in the 60s, an era of gorgeously overpowered muscle cars. Back then, I was flat out in love with anything that had a V8. I spent endless hours reading about cars, drawing pictures of cars, building models of cars, and talking about cars. Juan Fangio was my hero; driving a 400 horsepower GTO, my ultimate fantasy.
Eventually, though, I grew up and discovered girls, guitars, and, somewhere along the way, a concern for the environment. The fantasy of cruising in a gas-guzzler lost its luster.
So do I welcome the next generation of electric cars? Definitely, though they're sure to hit a few speed bumps along the way. According to Lux Research president Matthew Nordan, 42% of the world’s lithium carbonate will be consumed if only 6.4% of the world’s cars use lithium ion batteries. A oddly framed statistic, but one that gives you pause nonetheless.
But, you know, even if electric cars fulfill their environmental promise, I really hope that governments avoid the temptation to regulate gas-powered muscle cars and supercars out of existence. I know this sounds irrational, given my distaste for burning gasoline. But, let's face it, there's nothing rationale about the relationship between humans and cars. Cars aren't simply a form of transportation; they also serve as a vehicle for expressing who are are and what we want people to think of us.
So, as much as I prefer to bike when possible, I still love beautiful, wickedly fast cars. I may not buy a Dodge Challenger for myself, but if my neighbor buys one and offers to take me out for a spin, you can bet I won't turn him down.
Maybe I'm not green enough. Or maybe I simply prefer to live in a world where humans have some latitude to indulge themselves. A world where the lion of fantasy can lie down with the lamb of practicality. A world that still has cool stuff.