The social cost of a car-based society:|
Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2000 17:38:24 +0100
Something I don't see addressed in the FMC page of your website is the
social cost of a car based society. I sometimes wonder if mass adoption
of EVs would reduce the incentive to deal with all the other problems
that car-dependence brings with it. You have already mentioned the
congestion problem, what about the horrific road-death statistics, the
fear that prevents people from walking and cycling, the destruction of
countryside and communities by bigger and faster roads, suburban sprawl
and so on?
Not to diminish what you are doing, I just think that focusing solely on
the pollution argument misses the point somewhat.
Please rest assured the points you make are of course very very,
familiar to us: we do of course - believe it or not - have a completely
thought-through, original, comprehensive, holistic and - if you must -
'integrated' real-world solution to the broader traffic management problem:
we do believe for example in the introduction of cunning, cutting-edge
'carrot&stick' technology to facilitate road/zone/congestion/parking
-tolling and charging....systems that take account of a car's 'eco-rating'
and that generally WILL strongly persuade/incentivize drivers to think
almost as hard about driving between 7 am - 6 pm(ish) as they would about
using a taxi...we can't be more specific largely because one of us here as a
few patents pending!! (Note: the same mysterious 'cunning, cutting-edge
technology' will also incorporate a 'carrot&stick'
speed-calming-and-charging function....wow - it sounds just too good to be
true , don't it?!).
Also: you will notice that we do not mention Friends of the Earth in our
links page: why? FOE and other organisations would actually find it very difficult indeed to
demonize the car - as they like to do at present - IF a large percentage of
vehicles were electric/zero emission....we do not agree with their
impossible 'back to nature/defy human nature' dogma...their
collectivist/socialist almost religious belief in public transport, their
hatred of out-of-town supermarkets and...well...all the rest of it!
Above all we are not taken in for a moment by that favourite, endlessly-repeated alibi-refrain of so many drivers ie.
"IF WE HAD A DECENT PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM THAT RAN ON TIME WE'D USE OUR CARS A LOT LESS."
Baloney! Just who are they kidding? Most - especially non-Londoners - would simply scrape further down the barrel of well-worn excuses NOT to use public transport: "No privacy, too much shopping to carry from the bus-stop, buses still not door-to-door, last-bus-back at 22.30....my (hoped for) fun-packed, spontaneous social/sex-life would collapse etc."
In short, we are not anti-car but anti-the-mindless-overuse of the car and
fundamentally hacked off with having to breathe other people's exhaust-filth
when we're out cycling/walking/pushing pushchairs etc..
EVUK exists to fight the corner for pure electric vehicles, to compensate
for the deliberate lack of information in the UK media on alternatives to
the ICE-tyranny, to make up for the fact that 999 people out of a thousand
still drivel on about milk-floats, golf-carts and C5's when/if ever the
subject of electric vehicles comes up. As far as the wider transport debate
goes - sure, we believe we do have almost all the solutions, real-world
solutions that, crucially, would require a minimum of political
courage....but they belong in a whole new, different and MASSIVE campaign