environment | electric cars
Nissan Motors is ordering the return of an experimental
| hyper-mini electric car
from municipalities they had leased to. The cars' cost per mile to operate is one-third that of their internal combustion equivalents. These energy efficient 2-seater vehicles have been used for basic transportation around citgies where they had been used. Nissan is one of a handful of complanies who had built these eperimental vehicles.
But before you rush to blame big automakers for cancelling this endeavor, consider the following: Operating the vehicles required special exemptions from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA], which will no longer be available.
Reports Tony Pearson, manager of technologies and motorsports for Nissan's North American division, "This whole program is being brought to a close."
NHTSA conducted studies on crash safety
that indicated that, while the risk of damage and injury increased as the weight of a vehicle was lowered, "...they also produced the ...findings that vehicle weight reductions do not increase fatality risk in car-to-car or LTV-to-LTV crashes and even reduce fatality risk in pedestrian crashes." They conducted another series of studies [Peter O’Reilly: Occupant protection studies
] but the focus was more on whether or not little cars could sustain head-on collisions from SUVs, Hummers and other mega-fuel hogs than on larger issues, such as fuel efficiency and climate change.
So, once again, short-sighted thinking rules the day.
SEE: Yahoo's Renewable Energy Dioscussion group for more details on saving energy resources. It's where I learned about the hyperminis |
Labels: energy, environment, transportation