There are many shades between brown and green. Somewhere in between devil-may-care, pollute-as-you-go, overindulgent consumerism (Dubaiâ€™s planned air-conditioned beach being a perfect, albeit cartoonish example) and the eco-ascetic philosophy - that we must learn to live without any of the things we like â€“ is a man named Johnathan Goodwin.
Mr. Goodwin, a native Kansan, retrofits cars so that they can run on renewable fuels, such as biodiesel, hydrogen, or electric batteries. In that sense, heâ€™s just doing what lots of other ecogeeks out there are doing â€“ tinkering with cars so that they donâ€™t need to run on gas. But Goodwinâ€™s projects are no frugal economy vehicles â€“ they exude luxury, size, power and style.
Consider, for example, his 1400 pound Ford F450 that runs on diesel, hydrogen or natural gas. Or a â€™64 Impala that has a raging 850 horsepower engine and gets 25 mpg. Goodwin works on projects for the rich and famous; his clients include Neil Young â€“ whose 1959 Lincoln was converted into an EV with a 100 mile range â€“ and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose 1984 Jeep now gets twice its old fuel economy (in addition to received souped-up power and handling). And then of course thereâ€™s his literally green Hummer that gets 40 mpg.
Goodwinâ€™s creations may not win any green awards. 40 mpg is impressive for a Hummer, but itâ€™s not that much higher than the average fuel economy in Europe. Besides, unless youâ€™re either very wealthy or a muscle car fanatic, it would make little sense to pimp your ride out like that when you could just buy a new, fuel efficient car.
Still, there is the philosophy behind it. Johnathan Goodwin believes in using renewable fuels and getting good mileage, but he also believes that a car should be fun to drive. â€œNobody wants to sacrifice size and style to gain fuel efficiency,â€ he says. â€œAnd thereâ€™s no reason to do it.â€ To all those who believe that going green means tightening your belt he says â€“ you can have your cake and eat it too.
To be sure, some of the things we love are decidedly unsustainable, and need to change. I am certainly not entitled to a big powerful car simply because I donâ€™t want to give it up. Goodwinâ€™s point, though, is that as technology gets greener it can also get just plain better.
Via CNET Green Tech
written by Global Patriot, December 16, 2008
written by Francis, December 16, 2008
written by Mr. Lee, December 16, 2008
written by Tom, December 16, 2008
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