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Author's profile photo Former Member

The Search for a Sustainable Car

Like many Americans, I depend fairly heavily on my car. Recently I started searching for the next car in my life–unfortunately, I have had quite a difficult time finding the perfect car–but the automotive industry is getting closer and closer.

When I first set out I had two ideas: electric or diesel. I am not interested in a hybrid given the tremendous resources and environmental costs associated with the batteries in today’s hybrids–they are a great step in the right direction, but I see them as an interim step. The benefits of an electric car are that you can essentially have a zero emission driving lifestyle. Where I live, I have the option of buying renewable energy–if I were to charge my car at home, then I would know my car is being powered by the wind (not quite as cool as a sailcar, but pretty close). Diesel, on the other hand, has the benefit of much greater gas mileage compared to a gasoline powered car, has much fewer emissions associated with the manufacturing of the fuel itself, and gives the car owner the option of biodiesel.

What I found was a fairly small selection of electric cars from which to choose. Nissan makes the Leaf, the first mass produced electric car with a range of ~100 miles–not quite the replacement I was looking to find as it would still require a second car. Chevy makes the Volt, a hybrid electric car with a back up gasoline engine that greatly extends the 25 mile electric motor range to several hundred miles–not really an option for me who needs a range of greater than 25 miles. Rounding out the mainstream electric cars is Tesla–these are not cars for the everyman with prices north of $100k for the single car they have in the market.

The diesel selection is also somewhat limited. The best option out there for fuel efficiency is the Volkswagen Jetta TDI–which tops the US EPA fuel efficiency charts.  A few other sedans are out there from BMW and Mercedes, but I really want something with all wheel drive–which means an SUV here in the US. There are a few SUVs out there that are diesel and all wheel drive, but the fuel efficiency is paltry. Europe actually has a greater selection of diesel cars overall and actually has all wheel drive diesel options that nearly fit the bill, at least for me.

So, I still have not found exactly what I seek, either an electric car with a decent range (and not a 10 month wait list) or a diesel all wheel drive car. The search continues.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Strange that this post do not mention the http://www.betterplace.com project, that has special relation with SAP AG.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Even I am his fan !!!
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hello,

      I personally would not say that Shai was the creator of Netweaver, maybe a great promoter.

      All the best,

      Guido

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Its my dream is to own an electric car some day!!
      Just the fact that electric cars are available in the country you live is exciting .
      I had once seen a documentary "Who killed the electric car"; that investigates the birth and death of the electric car. It showed how mysteriously GM recalled all its electric vehicle. Seeing this I was convinced that it will take atleast more 20 years.
      Well as of now I have chosen No.1 Trusted Indian Brand Maruti Ritz car. Will get the car by next weekend.
      If I was to ask I would wait for 10 Months but still get  myself a electric car.
      Author's profile photo Uwe Schieferstein
      Uwe Schieferstein
      Hello Hussain

      I do not dream about cars (even if this seems to be odd for a German). Instead, I prefer to live in a country where I am (almost completely) independent of having my own car. High standard public transportation in combination with car sharing services are a perfect match for my requirements.

      However, sustainability requires more than just replacing one technology with another one: a change of our mindset.

      Regards
        Uwe

      Author's profile photo Jason Lax
      Jason Lax
      You can actually clean the air in the process if you put a filter on the tailpipe of this baby: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVIwropRMME
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      As an employee at SAP and investor in Lithium Ion technologies.  I share the same views on today's EV market.  I like the Nissan Leaf but can tell that its capability as a first generation model is good (but could be better and will probably be much improved upon).  I'm thinking i'll wait for the 2012 toyota Rav4 that'll be Electric powered and produced in partnership with Tesla Motors.  I think the EV market will develop and be adopted faster than people think (especially with higher energy costs).  I was speaking to a person working at a local Nissan dealer, and he mentioned the Nissan Leaf's launch year was so overwhelming with so much interest/orders, that Canada's production run has been delayed till 2012 due to strong interest in the US.  I currently own and invested over 5000 shares in Talison Lithium (world's largest lithium supplier) and is a stock still relatively cheap at $6 per share.