Wednesday, May 06, 2009

2 Wheels & 2 Legs are Greener !!

That's for motorcycles and the non-motorized transport (NMT). One cannot get more efficient at burning fuel than a motorcycle (fossil or electric) and the NMT is "zero emissions".

US Administration announced a stimulus package of $1.8 billion to make greener biofuels. Why not use those funds to promote NMT or public transport?

Get out of the cars. The air pollution (and other emissions linked to climate change) is severe along the corridors and worse during the rush hours, mostly due to congestion and idling emissions. A lot of energy is wasted every where, in US, China, Europe, India, and the rest of the World.

Latest article in the Economist, praised the efforts of China in promoting the electric motor cycles, which provide 30-50 kilometers for a fraction of the cost of the fuel spent in the regular motorcycle. The charging takes 5-8 hours, depending on the battery power, but the travel is safer and faster than the regular bicycles, and the environment is clean.

Do we really need to the incentive to buy an electric car? UK Govt. announced a 5,000 pounds rebate for every electric car. Why not promote the NMT or safer ways to bike with that money? MP Challen wants the car manufacturers to carry an advertisement showing "the climate health warnings" of driving cars. Just get off the cars?

The program that is worth a mention is the bike share program in Europe - Paris, Lyon, Milan, etc., all with excellent service and people are one click away from becoming users.

In 2008, 21 million electric bicycles were sold in China. Were there any subsides involved? Chinese makers are also in the business plug-in hybrids, expecting to sell at least 400,000 in 2009.

Henry Li, the head of BYD Auto's export and trade division (China) says, "We are not trying to save the world, we are making money. Our strategy aims to give value to shareholders. If we can help the planet at the same time, all the better" and well positioned to be the World's Leader in electric cars (NY Times).

Watch Shai Agassi's bold plan to mass produce electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles, given enough supply to power them are not bad. They could reduce the noise levels in the neighborhood and increase property value. Clean environment, anyone?

Yes, we need to find ways to power these vehicles. Power plants are an option (in spite of Dr. Hansen saying no to them). As far as the air pollution is concerned, emissions of PM, SO2, NOx, and the likes are easy to control at a power plant than emitted at the ground level and into our noses, and causing more health damage. The pollution out of a power plant stack disperses farther than the emissions out of a car or a bus.

Mr. Penolosa (of Bogota) says, choose people over cars, NMT is the best and the city authorities need to promote these more.

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