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Green Car

Bonus perks for enviro friendly car users
(+4, -4)
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The basic idea is to encourage people to buy environmentally friendly cars by giving them small incentives that would be especially important in urban areas, where polution problems are most acute.

This idea is probably more relevent to the U.S.A., since I know other parts of the world have their own ways of addressing these issues. But here is something that I think could work for us. Implementation: A government agency works with the car manufacturers to come up with an easy-to-meet set of criteria for something that constitutes a "green" car. It would be something close to the most environmentally friendly car in the regular fleet line up, for example, it should be compact, get 40 mpg or better, have low emissions, and it should not use toxic or wasteful production methods. However, it should be a car that would have consumer demand and be profitable for car makers. After the green car specs were hammered out, any manufacturer could produce green cars that met the specs. The standard would be revised every 5 years or so, but if a car was certified as green once, it would stay certified as long as it didn't go out of its original specs.

Ok, so anyone who buys a green car gets a special license plate on it, that allows them a set of special perks, that are determined city by city, but could include:

* They get to use carpool lanes even if they are a single occupancy driver

* They get to skip the toll on toll roads and bridges

* They get to use special parking spaces downtown

* They do not need to pay for city parking meters

Some small things like that, that would be especially benificial to urban drivers.

Krate, Feb 14 2002

Ford's Th!nk car http://www.thinkmob...36965&ProdCode=CITY
[hippo, Feb 14 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       I'd rather remove the current subsidies for parking than add new ones, but as an amelioration, this is interesting. Maybe even plausible.   

       There shoudl be extra privileges for vehicles that do significantly better than the fleet-standard 'green' car. (I want to see more Twikes.)
hello_c, Feb 14 2002

       Build it and they will come - incentives or no. Manufacturers' legistlated averages are aproaching 40 MPG anyway, so I'd expect to see these on the road in the next few years.   

       What this country needs is a safe, one-person car.
phoenix, Feb 14 2002

       Which country, phoenix?
bristolz, Feb 14 2002

       If the 'green' cars get the good lanes, then the 'non-green' cars will use more resources. Counterproductive. Therefore, the 'green' cars should use the crappy lanes.
thumbwax, Feb 14 2002

       Baked. Ford's Th!nk car is like this - (I reviewed it for a newspaper recently). They have a deal which alows you to park for free at parking meters in the City of Westminster (i.e. a vast swathe of central London in which parking is normally about £4/hour). Exempt from a load of taxes too. See link.
hippo, Feb 14 2002

       I can't see why the car manufacturers wouldn't go for this either. They get to sell green cars to the people who want them to take advantage of all the urban perks, while keeping their gas guzzler for all other purposes. Ker-ching.
-alx, Feb 14 2002

       Overall good idea - nice set of incentives. Just one minor gripe: "compact" and "high efficiency" aren't coextensive. Set the standard to some mileage requirement, as you suggest, and let the manufacturers make any size that meets it. Just because internal combustion engineering has stagnated doesn't mean it is impossible to have a 50+ mpg 5000 lb vehicle.
quarterbaker, Feb 14 2002

       The compact requirement wasn't for effeciency so much as for urban parking. I was thinking that the special parking spaces downtown could be compact as well. I think it is crucial, for an idea like this to work, that the car companies be allowed to come up with whatever creative solution they can to address the real problems and not to think up one possible solution first and then require that solution to be implemented. In California, for example, we tried to legislate electric cars into widespread use, instead of allowing car companies to come up with their own solutions to low emissions and efficiency, so we ended up with everyone driving SUVs instead.   

       Also, regarding American's God given right to own gas guzzlers as PeterSealy said, this in no way impinges on that right. You can keep your cool 1968 Hemi 426 Road Runner. It might make you consider buying a green car to use around town as a second vehicle, like alx said, or it might not, but it would be enough of an incentive for some people.
Krate, Feb 14 2002

       [bristolz] Mine, of course.   

       [UnaBubba] Or a Hummer.
phoenix, Feb 14 2002

       our "drive clean" emissions test program here in ontario already gives us perks for having a "green" car: you get to renew your license plate permit for another two years. and you get to pay for the test.
mihali, Feb 14 2002

       Since we're in the mommy-government mood for this post, I think our Nanny-state, buttinsky, Constitution-be-damned gov't should DISCOURAGE the use of green cars.   


       They're dangerous. Their low weight makes the occupant much more likely to be killed or seriously injured in an accident. If government encourages their use, they should be sued to bankruptcy. ;)
seal, Feb 14 2002

       seal, I heard a news story on NPR where a statistic was quoted, indicating that is the number one reason why people don't buy 'green' cars, like the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius. A representative from a car show was saying how the industry hopes to develop more 'traditional' looking green cars.
waugsqueke, Feb 14 2002

       A friend here at work has a Honda Insight. It gets, according to the gauge on the dash, up to 90 mpg, depending obviously on how it's being used right then.   

       California already allows alternative fuel or high efficiency vehicles to use carpool lanes.   

       So this is, in large part, baked; it just needs the frosting.
StarChaser, Feb 14 2002

       I have a nice, simple way to encourage 'green' car use: raise gas prices up to $5/gallon.
Jeremi, Feb 16 2002

       why not then give incentives to those who simply have no car? vr302999@0hiou.edu
duefangler, Sep 29 2002

       //incentives to those who simply have no car//   

       ...or drive it less. Say I take UB's 1967 Ford chitbox out for a joyride. Just once a year. That thing has 1/365th (.0027) the emissions of a similar model, and doesn't even have a catalytic converter. No "toxic production methods" for the past 35 years. Wait, I didn't drive it back... make that .0014 on the emissions. Even better on a leap year. It's not green, I think it used to be yellow. Hard to start, too.
Amos Kito, Sep 29 2002

       My neighbour's Skoda is green.
NickTheGreat, Sep 29 2002


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