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American hybrid cars

Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Read Comments

American hybrid cars

This cartoon is simply poking fun at the astonishing lack of vision by American car companies when it comes to embracing hybrid vehicles or electric vehicles. American car companies, which universally refused to let go of the combustion engine paradigm, have been left in the dust by Toyota. Even the so-called "hybrid" American cars aren't really true hybrids, by the way, which is why their gas mileage and performance are both terrible compared to Japanese cars. Goodbye American auto companies, and good riddance. This is the industry that introduced "planned obsolescence" to encourage repeat sales of crappy cars. It's also the industry that conspired with oil companies to suppress technology that could have greatly improved gas mileage over the years. Big Auto is a Big Disgrace to America, and it is now taking its rightful place in the history of big, bankrupt industries that failed to adapt to changing times or deliver safe, quality products at a reasonable price. Of course, the old school Detroit auto makers are being replaced by new, California-based American auto makers producing all-electric vehicles that actually do stand a chance of competing with Toyota. Companies like Tesla Motors and Phoenix Motorcars are working on a new generation of automobiles that don't have to explode gasoline to generate power. They simply use electricity to turn the wheels, operating at a level of efficiency that's equivalent to paying about 10 cents per gallon of gas. If any American auto companies survive the next ten years, it will be the ones that embrace plug-in electric vehicles. The combustion engine is obsolete, and the sooner American auto companies realize this, the better chance they'll have of sticking around in the years ahead. But that would, of course, require vision beyond the next fiscal quarter, and based on the events in corporate America over the last few years, I'm not sure America has any remaining ability to see beyond the next quarter (or the next election). America currently suffers from a vision deficiency, you see, which is leaving the country in a state of having no real future: No manufacturing, no health care, no balanced budget, no education, no civil liberties, and nothing resembling a real democracy. The demise of the auto industry is merely a tiny symptom of a major national disease that I call, "Leadership deficiency syndrome." Of course, we could always go back to rickshaws and bicycles. Indeed, that may be where we're headed in America if our country doesn't start adapting to the post-oil era right away.

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