Skip to main content

Do you have to look pretty getting there?

The alternative transportation season is ending in Ohio. People are putting away their bicycles. Of course there is still mass transit, but that isn’t exciting, just a practical way of moving people around like cargo.

I operate a business out of a cargo van. The rolling workshop has a certain practicality, like most mass transit, and there is a certain kind of appeal to vehicles that do what they have to, and are not sold on their skin-deep beauty.

Many of us would probably love to blast to work in a Porsche or Tesla, but have to settle for something less exciting. Getting places, it seems, is not an area of life where we look for Spartan practicality, but times are changing, and function is taking precedence over appearance more often.

AM General, the company that made the Humvee and H2, might be building an equally utilitarian automobile for Vehicle Production Group, LLC.

The car enthusiast magazines that reported on the unveiling of VPG’s first effort, the Standard Taxi, did not love it. It was not made for dangerous and illegal TV-commercial driving, [“Closed course, professional driver, dramatization, do not attempt.”] it was built to be easily repairable, affordable, to move people and luggage.

The Standard Taxi is now the MV1, still designed to be wheelchair accessible, an expensive add-on with other vehicles. AM General plans to build these starting next year, and the Mishiwaka, .[near South Bend] Indiana plant.

This car is still being panned as ugly and ridiculous, except by those people who like the CNG fueling option.

It’s practical, it is made to do a job, for that, I call it beautiful. Those same qualities also make this car more ‘Alternative’ than the Prius.