Skip to main content

Electric Cars

The documentary Revenge of the Electric Car opens with a shot of a busy, congested Los Angeles freeway. A voice begins talking about how LA's freeways are great. How they've enabled mobility... how they've allowed businesses to spring up around them. The problem, the voice says, is that almost none of the cars driving on these freeways are electric.

(from alforque on Flickr)

Already, 30 seconds into the movie and I'm cringing, wondering how I'm going to get through an hour and a half of fetishizing electric cars and "happy motoring" as Jim Kunstler would say.

It's true that having lots of gasoline powered vehicles polluting cities is a problem - it's a big problem. But to think that it will be some kind of paradise when LA's freeways are packed, jammed and congested with electric vehicles is a bit silly, to be frank.

Electric car proponents do seem genuinely concerned with the environment - at least I don't think they're putting on an act. But they seem way more obsessed with cars than about some environmental goal. As you watch the movie, you hear little bits about how electric cars are great because they're fast and they can accelerate quickly and they are fun to drive. And that's probably - but when you're crawling along at 10 mph during a Los Angeles rush hour, none of that really matters.

The film closes with another shot of the congested Los Angeles freeway. It's weird, because I imagine a documentary film about the awful problem of sprawl opening and closing in the exact same way. It also makes me think that when you show that image and people say "wow, there's a serious problem here" that they might not have the same thing in mind as you.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

In Praise of Southwest's 'C' Boarding Group

A few weeks ago I saw a tweet from someone complaining that their Southwest Airlines boarding pass had been assigned A20 (meaning they would be at least one of the first twenty passengers to board the plane). Apparently this person though they should have been assigned a higher number, less their flight experience be considerably spoiled.

Despite the complaints, Southwest has resisted demands to assign seats on its flights, a decision which I personally applaud. I'll admit that I was skeptical when they rolled out the newest boarding procedure, assigning both boarding groups and a line number; but in hindsight it seems like one of the best operational decisions they've ever made. If nothing else, it effectively eliminated the infamous "cattle call" whereby fliers were getting to airports hours in advance and sitting in line on the floor as if they were waiting for the midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie.

When I was an intern at Southwest Airlines last winter, I…

So You Want to be a Southwest Airlines Intern?

My personal website must have pretty decent SEO - because in the past year, I've received about two dozen emails from aspiring Southwest Airlines interns looking to draw on my experience in search of their own dream internship. In the past two weeks alone a few new emails have already started rolling in...

(from flickr user San Diego Shooter)

If you've found your way here, you might be hoping for the silver bullet; a secret tip that will propel you above the competition. Unfortunately, I do not know any inside secrets. I can only share my experience as an internship candidate about two years ago and, rather than responding individually to future emails I anticipate to receive, I hope that potential interns will find the information posted here valuable.

Understand: Southwest Airlines is a very unique company. The corporate culture at Southwest is truly unlike that of nearly every other company. But you probably already knew that, since it now seems mandatory for every management,…

Good Advertising

The blogosphere seems to be one fire over Microsoft's new "Lauren" TV commercial. Frankly, I don't see what the commotion is about.



If the critics are correct, then "Lauren" is actually Lauren De Long, a Screen Actors Guild eligible actress; and apparently, if you look close enough, she never even enters the Apple store.

Even if all of that is true, it doesn't refute the fact that Apple's laptops are significantly more expensive than most PCs. It isn't a lie that Apple doesn't sell any 17-inch laptops for less than a grand. The advertisement doesn't make any reference to the quality of the machines (or contest any of the claims made in Apple's "I'm a PC" commercials) or provide any good reason to buy one other than price.

As far as I can tell, after years of horrible commercials and a series of flops, Microsoft seems to finally have hired an ad agency that put together a decent advertisement. It's not likely to persuad…