In Sweden the increase in fuel efficient cars may have lead to an increase in the amount of driving and fuel emissions, Treehugger claims. There is some evidence for and against the articles conclusions according to a blogger at Mother Jones.
Research shows that increasing fuel efficiency often encourages people to drive more, specifically in places with high gas prices like Sweden. Increased driving leads to more individual travel a decrease in the number of people taking public transportation.
However, according to UC Berkeley scientist Lee Schnipper, the increased emissions from more driving increases does not exceed cuts made by efficient cars. This phenomenon is called the rebound effect. Schnipper states that the increase in emissions in Sweden is most likely due to other changes, such as the switch from Train transportation of products and food to Truck transportation. It has also been noted that an increase in wealth has lead more people to buy their own cars, causing increased emissions.
The Treehugger article, even if not supported by strong evidence, still raises an important issue: Sweden’s emissions have increased despite the use of fuel efficient cars. Cars that are simply fuel efficient are not enough. We need electric cars. People often hesitate with electric cars. Some say they are concerned that the cars will run out of energy before they can get to a charging station.
A new plan unveiled in Japan could have the solution to this problem. A leading company has released their plan to install charging stations into vending machines. In large cities, where vending machines are common, this could mean a high frequency of charging stations wherever you go.
It’s a novel idea, but one that wouldn’t work in the United States which has very few vending machines and larger open areas. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t work on developing one that will work for us. If the vending machine plan was implemented in conjunction with similar plans rolled out by statewide chains, such as Crackelbarrel (Tennessee) and Half-Price Books (Texas), and Global corporations like McDonalds this model may work in the U.S. Everywhere you drive there are McDonalds. Imagine if they were all charging stations for electric cars. No matter what your personal view of McDonalds is, most likely not favorable, a charging station at each one would immensely help the environment. It’s necessary to get the green car revolution moving again. If we can only convince other companies to roll out charging stations as well, perhaps we can make the electric car an achievable and practical goal once more.
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