The other day I read this Tom Friedman editorial, dramatically subtitled “How will future historians explain why President George W. Bush decided to ignore the energy crisis staring us in the face?” It continues on about his “geo-greening” philosophy. Basically he is strongly advocating green technologies to wean our country off oil which he sees as a big part of the middle east problem — that we send so much money there which props up corrupt regimes and prevents real progress from being made in that area. He advocates a gas tax which would fix gas prices near $4 a gallon. Obviously he is a big fan of the new hybrid vehicles.
This got me thinking of a conversation I was having the other day about new cars having ungodly amounts of horsepower. A 300 horsepower Subaru? A 5.7 liter Hemi in a relatively small Jeep Grand Cherokee? Obviously things like the new Lexus Hybrid are helping to improve the hybrid sex-factor, but I think more dramatic steps are needed.
How about an electric or electric-hybrid racing format? Not F1, E1. This would be an ideal place to drive innovation in the field. Formula One, which I love, doesn’t really serve the purpose of creating technologies that are used in street cars much anymore. I’m never one to claim that further innovation won’t happen in today’s F1, but I think there is a new, greater engineering challenge. Batteries could be improved. Electric motors could be improved.