Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for August 2006

Camaros to roll out of Oshawa plant in late ’08

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Camaros to roll out of Oshawa plant in late ’08

Yeah, just what Canada needs – another muscle car! The point that caught my attention was that Dalton McGuinty got booed by the union members. After all Ontario has only thrown $500m in subsidies at GM since 2003. I wonder how much has gone to the TTC in that period, and what could have been done to reduce car dependence in Canada’s largest metropolitan region with that kind of investment.

If you must spend it on propping up the North American car industry, why not insist that the subsidies go to more fuel efficient and less polluting vehicles? (Answer: ’cause they might go back to Quebec if we did).

Written by Stephen Rees

August 22, 2006 at 3:53 pm

Not so shocking

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Electric cars :
High-tech entrepreneurs unveil a sporty electric car

Timely, given the release of “Who killed the electric car” and certainly not without precedent. “The Economist” fails to mention the legions of enthusiasts who have been building their own electric cars for years. Converting pick-up trucks seemed to be the most common. Then there is that firm on Annacis Island, the Dynasty Electric Car Corp that builds a “low speed vehicle”.

ITYes, you need a sports car to get news coverage. The GM electric was very sporty too. But something like the Smart car still seems to me to be the way to go. Better than a golf cart, but ideal for those short trips around town. A vast number of urban trips really are very short – but are a function of the way that land uses are divided into exclusive zones. In the suburbs it is (mostly) too far to walk to the shops. About the only other use accepted in residential zones is a school – or park (usually both). It will take forever to get this changed – so we need some better way of getting about. The bike will do for a lot of journeys, but the rate of adoption is slow. Produce a cheap, no emission urban run about and you can keep your monster as a collector’s item.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 3, 2006 at 12:00 am