As an avid green technology driving school, A Formula 1 Driving School has been dedicated to sustainable energy during its’ 26-year history. AF1 has taught 26,000 plus students in all manners of sustainable, self-reliant fuels for the automobile. One stands alone to inherit the Earth. Just in time for Pope Francis’ Lambada Se (Praise Be) call for all western hemisphere Christians and business leaders to combat Global Warming. Indeed, I take such a “call to save the planet” seriously. I’m betting on the Electric Car to reduce those nasty greenhouse emissions, reduce pollution, noise, stress, and to alleviate my gas-card spending, to overall reduce our Carbon footprint, and save planet Earth. I think she’s worth saving! Electric Cars have been around since 1870. Beginning in France, England, then Germany, the first Electric Vehicles were heavy, and cumbersome, required a musculature to steer with the iron wheel, and lost out on power frequently. Charging required an all-day process once again, and was simply not convenient, although early results at winning speed races proved promising, endurance and distance were lacking.
Skip to 1990 and General Motors came out with the GM Impact, or EV-1, the perfect car. Too perfect! The car could traverse all day long, journey to work, shop, AND the kids’ soccer game without range anxiety or loss of power, just what the consumer wanted. Unfortunately, the usual forces namely Big Oil, and the big three car manufacturers were to blame in deposing this test-car which was only available on lease to a select few ( Leo Di Caprio, Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Ed Begley Jr.) and a few lucky every day plebs to boot. (See Doc “Who killed the Electric Car”). Moblil Exxon (Esso) wouldn’t tolerate having zero profit, nor would the dealerships profit from oil changes, fuel and oil filters, coolant system and transmission flushes. All GM Impact vehicles were recalled, and then crushed in a secret junk yard in the dessert. A conspiracy you say? Well, yes. It happened before in the early 1900’s when all San Francisco’s new fleet of streetcars were suddenly inexplicably scrapped. The city then bought GM buses with Goodrich tires, and ran on Esso diesel. (True, look it up).
Finally, we now have a man the Pope can be proud of: Elon Musk. This wunderkind ditched Queen’s computer classes as they bored him. After a venture selling a computer company and inventing then selling PayPal to EBay, he founded Tesla Motors Inc of California. When they went public recently, against all odds he became a Billionaire. Now he divides his time between Space X Co. sending missions to the International Space Station, and his pet “man to Mars project”. Meanwhile his Tesla all-electric vehicle has evolved from the Lotus Elise chasis through to a gorgeous platform S-model. He plans on halffing the US $70,000 cost by putting out a boomer mobile model “X” for US $35,000.00 in the next couple of years. Subtract the current $10,000 grants both federal and provincial governments are contributing to this green technology, then add in a $3500 charge for the purchase and installation of the garage charger, and voila, you’ve got the perfect automobile. The car of the future, the proverbial perpetual-motion machine, well, you get the idea. Elon Musk is a genius, Elon Musk is secretly Iron Man, Elon Musk for President! But alas, what about those 250,000 Americans making sub-standard fossil-fuel guzzelling, polluting inferior dinosaurs? And what about the 250,000 American military (plus 2500 Canadian) personnel fighting for our Lithium stake
in Afghanistan? Lithium is the primary metal found in large quantity found only in Afghanistan and also in Argentina (look for an upcoming invasion?!) All car batteries, laptops,and cell phone/ipads, etc) : Look at “Why We fight”, Toronto Star c. 2005. But, for our Crusaders, reaping the benefits far outweighs the negatives. Our economy is in constant state of flux, we must learn to adapt, or become extinct. Think no more pollution, no more noise of diesel engines, overweight mid-lifers on mufflerless Harleys, fish and wildlife returning to our rivers and streams due to the lack of Sulfer Dioxides (SO2) in our atmosphere. Much less cancer rates without tiny particulate of carbons, a lack of nitrogen oxides allowing our soil to regenerate and become fertile once again. Our climate would rebalance itself, carbon in the atmosphere would reabsorb itself in harmony once again, fulfilling the Pope’s encyclical. Mankind would once again be in synchronicity with Earth and Nature. Only human greed would be our one true foe to fight to rid ourselves of. Perhaps those displaced auto workers and soldiers could then combat the palgues of our society: Poverty, Ignorance, Racism, and the unequal distribution of wealth. Yes, we can achieve all of this, if only we go electric now. I for one will be buying a Tesla for my next car.
Jeff C. Pope is an Educator and Writer
Any implied relationship to His Holiness Pope Francis, is purely coincidental.