Friday, January 11, 2008

A car in every garage?

A car costing $2,500 is a bad idea, if you ask some environmentalists.

Bowled-over Indians showered accolades on the Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car, Friday calling it a must-buy and a "one-in-a-billion coup," drowning out the grave concerns of environmentalists. ...

But in spite of the reams of praise, some remained unconvinced. The head of the UN climate panel that won the Nobel Peace Prize last year indicated he would have preferred to see Tata unveil the "People's Bus."

Why not opt instead for a Lamborghini? It's exempt from C02 penalties in Europe.

"If there are penalties, they have to be reasonable with a clear link to the price of CO2 applied to other sectors," she said. ... EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas acknowledged that the regulations could add 1,300 euros ($1,874) to the price of a car. ... Manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini, which make high-end luxury racers and sell fewer than 10,000 cars a year, would be exempt.

Maybe environmentalism is a now part of prestige branding.


Blogger always right said...

That was my thought, why not "force" these UNheads to only drive one of these newest model themselves "for their own good, whether they like it or not".

1/11/2008 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

I am rereading Atlas Shrugged after a few decades. The characters are a little brittle but Oh Baby! do the "Looters" echo what we hear and see in the real world every day. This story about the Tata could not be more in line with the book.

1/11/2008 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

So what does the UN really mean when it claims it wants "economic development" in the Third World? It must mean approved economic development, or if you prefer "sustainable development".

And how is the cost of sustainability determined? Through the market or by the UN Committee that won the Nobel Prize?

If a Third World salesgirl or shopkeeper used her money to buy lipstick would that be ok? Or is that a frivolous, decadent, filthy imperialist habit? And says who? And BTW whose money is it anyway? Oops, wrong question.

1/11/2008 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger The Hubby said...

The environmentalists missed the point. In an NPR (yeah, I know) interview about the car, the company officer mentioned that the competition in India for their 4 person car is a 1 or 2 person motorcycle that produces a great deal more pollution. They had to hit this price point to compete. 4 people in a cleaner car made locally vs one person on a dirtier motorcycle is an environmental and economic win.

1/11/2008 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Nooyawka said...

Having just spent a year in India, I can report that many motorcycles on weekends carry not just Pop and Mom but two or three kids. All are subject to immediate harm if the motorcycle tilts over. Plus, it is rare that anyone but the driver wears a helmet. I often wondered how Dad would feel if because of his sole helmet only he survived but Mom or the kids died of head injuries. The Tata Nano isn't an impressive engineering marvel, but it adds a welcome touch of safety to its family of riders.

1/11/2008 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

The externalities of cars extend beyond their environmental issues. These things get great mileage and increase the safety of the riders, but they will clog up the roads and also decrease the safety of folks on the outside. Seriously. When cars reach a certain saturation they convey no transportation benefit, though perhaps they serve to enhance the prestige of the owner. It makes me a little queasy to think about the population of Calcutta with all these tinkertoys in gridlock.

1/11/2008 11:27:00 PM  

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