Testosterone may be the biggest polluter of all

tesla-roadsterLast year, Intel’s Atom series of microprocessors did something that no other computer product had done before it. It was the first new, innovative product that was significantly slower than other recent offerings. To the surprise of pretty much the whole industry, Atom-powered netbooks caught on. For the first time, consumers were buying slower computers. Because they were fast enough for most common tasks. And because they were light, cheap and used very little energy.

An Atom car?

This got me thinking. What if there was an ‘Atom car’? Would anyone buy a car that had just enough power to safely drive within the speed limit? A car that was light, used as little gas (electricity? hydrogen?) as possible and was cheap? So basically, a car that lacked any bragging rights and wouldn’t get you chicks?

Boys will be boys?

Zenn electric carI think it’s terribly clever that Tesla opted to create a sports car before doing a sedan model. It might just convince people that electric cars can be exciting. But the more important issue is probably that, apparently, we need cars to be exciting. I’m not a psychologist, but it seems that cars are one of the few opportunities left for men to compete for dominance. And we’re hormonally programmed to compete. We want our car to be faster and more expensive than our neighbor’s. Not safer or more fuel-efficient. That’s why even Tesla’s roadster isn’t as energy efficient as it could be. It’s built for speed. Speed means power, and power means energy.

If you look for them, there are a few ‘Atom cars’ out there. Not many, and most of them aren’t very practical yet. But in order to change that, they need to gain demand. Nothing drives innovation like the prospect of financial success. If we want to save the environment, we need to want these cars. But we don’t. These are not tiny little notebook that you surf the web on, these would replace your SUV or your Mustang. You’d be seen driving them. There’s pride to be swallowed. Even I, somewhat of an environmental nut, find that hard to do. Darn hormones…

4 Comments

  1. I honestly beg to differ that these new lines of “smart cars” (we’ll group them together because they are all very similiar) are much more environmentally friendly than your average Mustang -which I own, and would never drive one of these mini cars for reasons stated herein-.

    First of all, these small cars have much less room in the way of trunk space, towing capacity and number of passengers. Even my Mustang can drive 4 (I put the girls in the back since they fit no problem in my ’06 Mustang), and has enough trunk space for a hockey bag, set of golf clubs and luggage. If that isn’t enough, you can fold down the top half of the rear seats and obtain more storage room. Lets see you do that with an “atom” car.

    Also, lets take into account here that these smart cars have a huge deal of plastic. Plastic is a far greater hazard to the environment than the use and production of metals. Much more energy is lost in the creation of plastics than metals. It’s like those folks who somehow think plastic Christmas trees are better for the environment than planting and clear cutting trees specifically for Christmas tree use – excuse me, are you retarded or just slow?

    Sure these little sissy cars are great for women – single women with a single income. But what good are they otherwise? I’d also like to point out the fact that though some might do well in crash tests, slamming a wall at 40 – 60 is all fine and dandy but you’re not as likely to be hitting a cement wall as you are that large car coming at you with another 40 – 60mph of force in the opposite direction. Yes okay, so that;’s only an issue as long as everyone continues to drive larger vehicles – though the larger much more heavily built family vehicles will have to follow. Also, these tiny vehicles have horrible reliability just due to the sheer “tinyness” of the components vs. the amount of force exerted on a car.

    These smart cars, like “going green” or “eating local” (yes I eat local, at my local restaurant) are just a fad set out by sissies. Unfortunately people are retarded and don’t really think things through.

    Would you rather have 1 powerful system capable of running ALL your software, or a few simple purpose computers? I would aregue once you add things up – the amount of materials to create the extra systems, the power used to run multiple systems and the space and manufacturing and everything else needed to allow you to have these extra little “environmentally friendly” devices it is all a big crock of shit that helps companies make more money off of uninformed bandwagoners.

    Really – people need to look at the reality.

    Comment by Cody — July 28, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

  2. Cody: you are the symptom of what’s wrong with american car market… It’s not a fad, it’s a necessity, the more you wait, the deaper in shit you awake.

    I’ll buy a locally assembled, tiny, efficient, way more realiable, japaneese car, thank you!

    Let me share my observations on motorcycles

    speedbike is more a chick’s boyfriend and children magnet than a real, actual chick-magnet… Hey baby, wanna ride my moped, we could go to the farmer’s market, cook and have some sex afterward? I’m pretty sure both the success rate and MPG would be better with a moped than a hayabusa.

    But I gotta admit it’s extremely metrosexual, for rednecks and guys with sexual identity insecurities it probably would not work :D

    Look, my dick is kinda big, I don’t need every objects in my life to reflect that… I dont mind the contrast, as I am pretty sure you don’t either, -muted laughs-, mustang owner ;)

    Comment by Gbaron — September 23, 2009 @ 4:37 pm

  3. Cody may be rude, but he is right. There is nothing environmentally friendly about a car that has to be thrown out because the batteries, which cost $9,000, need to be replaced. I’m all for sissy cars as long as they have a sissy impact on my wallet and emissions but they don’t. In fact, the cost is astronomical for the buyer to enter the market, given that a sub compact, standard transmission is a fraction of the cost of battery operated/ hybrid types. Why bother? And to imply that testosterone has anything to do with this is kinda lame – its simple ego – last time I checked, plenty of women have plenty of ego.

    Now, should they mass market a Natural Gas car out-of-the-box (like Honda did) at the $13K,-18K level it will do nicely.

    Comment by i7User — March 9, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

  4. Batteries or not, there’s barely a car available that more inefficient than a Mustang is. American sportscar design, with it’s “the biggest engine you can find / no substitute for raw cc” attitude has produced some of the worst cars out there, and made them affordable too.

    A Lotus Exige beats almost all of them around a track (because of its vastly superior handling), and has the fuel consumption of a ‘compact’. That, in my opinion, is an ‘atom car’ too. It doesn’t need to be electric per se. It’s about not using more than you need. About clever design as opposed to brute force. And basically anything is better than gasoline.

    I find it funny how Americans call cars that seat four in comfort and have a big enough trunk for their stuff a ‘compact’. That to me is proof of a skewed view of what a car should be, and typical of a country that has 5% of the world’s population, yet uses 24% of its resources.

    Comment by Roy — March 9, 2010 @ 5:07 pm