Toyota Eats GM

Now, normally when I begin a blog post with {something} eats {something else}, the reader can expect something of a serious rant ahead. Not this time. For once, I’m glad {something} is eating {something else}.

The issue is this: I hate GM. I absolutely despise them. I think they may very well be the second most evil automaker on the planet (the first is Ford, number one purveyor of climate-demolishing SUVs and heavy trucks). I’m sure most environmentally-conscious people who have seen the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, as I have, will agree with me.

Back in the late 1990s, California decided that it wanted to have a quota of at least a certain number of vehicles that produced zero emissions. None. Not one gram of carbon and nitrogen pollutants. And such vehicles existed, most noticeably in the guise of the EV-1.

The EV-1 is the only automobile that I will admit ever drooling over (after its demise, since I didn’t learn about it until I saw the movie in 2006). It was stylish, it was fast, it was modern, and most importantly, it was electric. Plug it into the wall at night, unplug it when you wanted to drive. Three hundred miles on a single charge-up. It was fast, too, easily outpacing the gas-guzzling monsters we’re now used to.

Well, to all those who were fond of them, GM said: “Too bad.” Under pressure from oil companies, auto-manufacturers (who depend on replacement parts for revenue, which they would have lost on the EV-1, since its drivetrain was so simple), the bastards folded. Since they had only provided EV-1s for lease, they could recall them any time they wanted. And they did. They towed them away, crushed them, and ground them into little shreds in an industrial Cuisinart. They did the same with some other electric cars, and even with a few gasoline-powered economy cars.

Which brings us to the main point of my story, namely, the reason I’m happy Toyota is now moving to overtake GM in sales. The reason is simple: I loathe and despise GM for taking the car of my dreams off the market before I got my chance at one. Well, thank goodness they’ve got some competition. And their competition is one of the few automakers on this planet that can legitimately claim to be moderately less destructive than most.

Of course, it’s not all good. Even if Toyota eats all the other automakers in America, we’ll still have the problem of gasoline dependence. Hybrids are not enough. Ethanol is certainly not enough. Hydrogen? Decades down the road, probably. Even if it isn’t, there are still the safety concerns. Until we can perfect super-clean fuels, electric was probably the best substitute for gasoline. But Big Oil would never allow that…

Well, it looks like it turned into a rant anyway. Oh well. Here, have a link: more information about the EV-1. It is Wikipedia, but at least the pictures have some chance of being accurate…

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