In a recent article on GreenBiz.com, Marc Gunther described the Chevy Volt as “a darling of the ‘green’ media” and evidence that GM knows how to innovate – and he’s right. The Volt certainly grabbed our attention as a great alternative-fuel option for our customers, which is why we’re adding them to our fleet.
Something I particularly liked in Marc’s article is the long-range view taken by GM’s VP of environment, energy and safety policy, Mike Robinson: “This is not a science project,” Robinson said. “We really want to build a mass-market vehicle. We believe that electric cars are a better long-term solution than pure gasoline.”
I agree. Our commitment to providing our customers an opportunity to test drive the Volt and other electric vehicles (EVs) is part of a larger, long-term plan to minimize our dependency on fossil fuels. Recent events like the earthquake in Japan and conflicts in the Middle East have disrupted energy supplies, and $4-per-gallon gas is already a fact of life in Hawaii, on the West Coast, and even in parts of the Midwest.
What’s more, HSBC’s recent forecast puts the supply of oil at 49 years or less, even if demand levels stay constant. The urgency keeps growing, and I agree with HSBC’s senior global economist, Karen Ward, who views the transport sector as the “low hanging fruit” for leveraging energy alternatives.
We plan to put more EVs on the road at our neighborhood and airport locations as soon as they’re available. This means our customers can experience a broader range of options, no matter if you rent for an hour, a day, or a month.
And it’s heartening to see automakers like GM investing in alternative-fuel vehicles for the long haul to give us more in the pipeline. As I’ve said before, it’s an important way to keep passenger vehicles relevant in our society … and support the sustainability of not just our business, but the broader transportation and travel industries.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about the future of EVs and other alternative-fueled vehicles.