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November 28, 2008

The Poor Reputation of the Car

CARS - Say what you will about cars, they are certainly one of mankind's greatest inventions to date. As modes of transportation go the classic Car not only gets people from A to B in good time, it does it relative comfort, style, safety and security.

Sure, people have accidents and get killed regularly. Car accidents (and accidents in general) are a way of life. Every mode of transportation, horses, bicycles, trains, subways, planes, zeppelins, hot air balloons, ships has a degree of danger involved in it. True, not many people die in hot air balloon accidents per year, but that's only because not many people ride in them in the first place.

So why does the car have a poor reputation. Its not the safety standards, I assure you, although the safety standards for SUVs and trucks could be much better (they're almost non-existent).

No, the reason for the car's low reputation is its choice of fuel: gasoline, petrol or diesel. It can be rather expensive at times, to say nothing of pollution. The rise in oil prices over the past 8 years has been dramatic.
"America is addicted to oil." - George W. Bush, 2006.
When Bush took power in 2001 the average price of oil that year was $22 US/barrel. Since then the price of oil has seen a record high of $147.27 US on July 11th 2008. The current price is hovering around $55/barrel.

Oil and gasoline is so expensive now that its CHEAPER to run your car on hydrogen. See our previous article on the cost of leasing a hydrogen car for more info on this topic. Hydrogen cars won't be mainstream for years to come however, despite efforts by General Motors, Honda and others. The added benefit is that hydrogen is also clean burning and doesn't hurt the environment.

So the car could certainly have a face lift and fix its reputation. And frankly I don't think it has much choice these days. The American automotive industry is hurting so much now from competing with cheaper more fuel efficient cars that switching to hydrogen isn't just a matter of time. Its becoming a matter of survival.

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