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This Week's BIG IDEAS Webisode: DRIVE

On May 22nd, the theme on THE GREEN is “DRIVE”. Of consummate importance to nearly all Americans, driving motor vehicles has been central to the fulfillment of the “American Dream”. The road trip is a classic tradition that is still going strong today. Now that fossil fuels are tied together with terrorism, the war in Iraq and the Middle-East in general, the concept of an alternative car stands to make an impact on American society in a similar fashion to the first consumer airline.

What does the alternative car mean, what types of cars are we talking about? Right now there is a popular and currently widely available option in the hybrid car. The hybrid uses gasoline more efficiently than a standard combustion engine vehicle. Next-up is the diesel multi-fuel engine, which can run on biodiesel as well as standard diesel fuel. Biodiesel is similar to the hybrid car in that it still produces air pollution but it is less polluting to make than regular crude oil and the pollution that comes out of the tail pipe is cleaner. It also allows for a greater percentage of the fuels to be produced in America, since the crop space required for its production is very abundant in America.

Finally we come to the electric car, which is also the subject of this weeks BIG IDEAS FOR A SMALL PLANET Webisode. The electric car has a battery that you charge at home, it has a limited range but otherwise performs very well. The electric vehicle does not function well for the roadtrip, but as charging stations become easier to use, perhaps this will change and instead of a gas station, you will be looking for a battery charging station. For a look into one type of electric only vehicle, check out this week’s webisode from BIG IDEAS FOR A SMALL PLANET: DRIVE.

As always, make sure to tune into Sundance Channel for THE GREEN, Tuesdays at 9PM EST. Also, today’ Treehugger Post concerns the electric car, you can find it here.