Automobiles

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Automobiles

Monday, The NY Times had an interesting story about Zurich, Switzerland’s intentional policy of making car-based transportation utterly miserable–and thereby convincing people to use other transit options: While American cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments…

Dan Froomkin has a great article about the role that financial speculation plays in driving up gasoline prices*. Keep in mind that even Goldman Sachs, the largest oil trader, admits that speculation drives up oil prices. But what really disgusting is how this speculation-based rise in prices serves as a wealth transfer from, well, just…

One of the biggest environmental challenges we face is trying to make the outer suburbs and exurbs more energy efficient. The basic problem is that suburbia requires a car. That is a huge energy consumer and CO2 producer. Lance Mannion describes the problem very clearly: To the degree that going green sounds like a plan…

(from here) Well, it’s not a jet car, but Terrafugia has made a flying car: The Terrafugia, a small airplane that can drive on roads and has been billed as the first “flying car,” is now one step closer to becoming street- and sky-legal. The vehicle has cleared a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulatory hurdle…

Zipcar Pulls Toyota Matrix from Its Fleets

If you live in a city, you’re probably familiar with Zipcar. It’s the car rental service that let’s you rent by the half-hour, which is very useful if you don’t own a car, and need one to run the occasional errand. Guess what comprises five percent of Zipcar’s fleet: Hello [Mike the Mad Biologist], You…

Add this to the list of symptoms of post-partisanship depression. Do you remember Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), who was originally nominated by Obama as Secretary of Commerce because he was viewed as a moderate? Well, ‘moderate’ Gregg (did I mention that he almost joined the Obama Administration were it not for opposition from we Dirty…

With some sadness, we read that GM is killing off Saab, although spare parts will still be made. The BBC’s Jorn Madslien explains how a well-engineered car line died (italics mine): When its owner GM bought Saab, it was seen as a brand that could become the US automotive group’s European luxury brand.

…for pedestrians? The Boston Globe reports that Boston is trying to implement a citywide bike sharing program:

The Mad Biologist’s Gas Tax Plan

We should make gas taxes part of a car’s purchase price. It would certainly beat Transportation Secretary LaHood’s proposal of a vehicle mileage tax (and is there any stupid idea that Republicans won’t embrace?):

Why Aren’t U.S. Toyota Workers Paid Better?

David Leonhardt does a good job of explaining the lies surrounding the bogus $73 per hour compensation that the Big Three autoworkers supposedly receive–even if he does so rather elliptically. Here’s how that $73 figure is reached: