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For the last 30 years, vehicle mileage has improved very little. During this period billions of dollars were invested
in “breakthrough” technologies such as fuel cells, diesel/hybrids and electric vehicles which never came to market. It’s time to find a real alternative that cuts CO2 emissions.
Automobiles consume almost nine million barrels of oil daily and generate about 20% of the nation’s climate-altering CO2. Climate change and diminishing fossil fuel resources are forcing the U.S. automobile industry to seek ways to deeply cut the energy use of their products. Unfortunately, little progress has been made.
In Spinning Our Wheels, energy analyst Pat Murphy traces the history of the thus-far-ineffective search for an alternative to the gasoline-fueled private car. He reveals a string of failures: two fuel cell efforts, an earlier version of the electric car, and the Clinton administration’s Program for a New Generation of Vehicles. He outlines how a similar process is taking place with the proposed electrification of transport via the experimental Pluggable Hybrid Electric Vehicle, describes the risks and problems of this approach, and questions the optimistic time schedule. He points out that the constant hyping of unproven breakthrough options has kept the public complacent and uninvolved.
Finally, Murphy outlines a plan for Shared Transport, which many refer to as the Smart Jitney, with enormous potential for reducing energy use and CO2 emissions. The products to implement such a system, he tells us, have been developed and are ready for use.
The analysis and recommendations developed in this book provide a rallying point for transportation specialists, community builders and citizens to take responsibility for dramatically reducing personal transport energy consumption.
By Pat Murphy
Spinning Our Wheels
Price: $12.95 + SH
2010; 96 pages, softcover