“You don’t know where to go, until you see where you have been” is an old saying. Automobiles and their evolution into Alternative Transportation are affected by this as much as many other things in life.
The Examiner advises against an introductory article, but I would be amiss, if I did not offer you an explanation at this point. Examiner.com invited me to continue writing on this topic, and I am happy to do so.
During my last stint at writing about ‘Alternative Transportation’ for the Examiner in 2010, I wrote random articles on this topic. As I grow older, and hopefully wiser, I believe I should have written by following a system, or a line, because alternative transportation (AT going forward) is an ever-evolving state of affairs.
The most natural way —for you to follow the progression of AT— would be to follow a time-line, because ‘alternative’ implies a change, a difference.
The dictionary defines ‘alternative’ as “affording a choice of two or more things, propositions, or courses of action”.
We all know that we must change our ways, in order to sustain life on this planet, as we would like it — without suffocation, literally, on the “progress” humankind has developed since the first industrial revolution.
The “two or more things” we are concerned with in alternative transportation, are the substitutes for vehicles as we knew them now. It has been 125 years since Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz began independently building vehicles with engines. That “tinkering”, even if they had a vision, has become arguably the world’s largest industry.
Starting again to write about AT, let’s begin with hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). Everyone is aware of ‘hybrids’ now, and just about every manufacturer now produces a hybrid.
“Hybridization is the path to the future,” asserted Dave Hermance a few year ago. He is the executive engineer for environmental engineering at the Toyota Technical Center, USA. As an interim solution, HEVs are in the news more and more every day.
A hybrid electric vehicle combines the best features of the familiar internal combustion engine (ICE) and the forever-reliable electric motor.
Just a few years ago a survey of 14,000 people found that only 14% of Americans and Canadians were aware of this technology. With today’s relentless advertising to “go green”, most everyone is aware of the hybrid’s existence and.
Hybrids surely will be in our future for some time, but do they already have a past?
Regular articles will build a bridge from the past to the future, and like links in a chain, the short stories will give insight from an idea to production, to the next car in your driveway, and the time of sustainable alternative transportation across Canada and around the world.
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