Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Why do 4x4s now look so old-fashioned?

I was out the door and on my mountain bike early this morning, in the rain, looking for hybrid cars, Smart cars, and electric vehicles. I was looking for these cars to put our new valentine card on their windscreen. It was fun - really a case of hunting around, riding up and down streets. In a half hour I managed to discover 5 Toyota Prius and 3 electric cars.
It seemed strange not to be putting our parking tickets on the myriad of large 4x4s around at the same time.

It occurred to me how old fashioned and out of date the 4x4s are quickly becoming. While the Prius seems to reflect change, new possibilities and a positive trajectory for the automotive industry, the 4x4s looked gloomy, out of step and unfashionable.

What we really need is more innovation. Not just technological adaptations to old ideas, but whole new designs from a standpoint of performance, design and environmental responsibility.

Maybe some of them are small and look like golf carts, but the new alternative cars are a beacon, really, of hope and movement towards a more conscious future.

Listen to Al Gore speak about the future of cars in his interview with Fifth Gear.