Thursday, December 14, 2006

London deluding itself

London Provides First Street Recharging Points for Electric Vehicles

I read this article today and laughed. London has some of the worst air in the world. Transportation is the biggest cause of their polution. But they are excited because there are now 750 electic vehicles in the town. And they are putting in 48 free plugins to encourage people to drive electic vehicles. There are 7,172,091 residents in London. 750 vehicles won't make a dent, and neither will the 48 outlets. If they are serious about improving the air quality, they would be removing fees for people who drive these vehicles, and they would be giving tax incentives. Start getting 100,000 cars off the street and maybe there will be some improvement.

I hope that London gets much more serious about this. I hope that other major cities do as well. I was excited when I read montsh ago that the city of New York would "allow" hybrid vehicles to be cabs. I don't understand how a city could prevent a vehicle from being a cab. As long as the car meets the federal guidelines for safety, and the cab company is not overcharging, then anything that's drivable should be able to be a cab.

I'm not a big fan of subsidies, but I do like tax breaks as incentives. I think having a tax break based on Miles per gallon for consumers and possibly even car companies could be a huge incentive for making more efficient vehicles. For years the standard has not gone up, and any improvement has been negated by making vehicles bigger. I would like to see minimum MPG standards go way up, with additional tax breaks offered for getting to even higher levels before they are required. Set the mid/compact car mpg at 40, each, not per fleet. That's something that car companies have gotten away with for too long, then reward 50 MPG with tax breaks.

Let's get serious about fixing the environment.