From T-Ford to Prius

I cannot help wondering if any other century, beside the previous 20th one, has shaped mankind in  a such a tremendous way? And in this case particularly, shaping people’s lifestyle so strongly. As my own background is in industrial design which quite often touches vehicle design, one of today’s topics, the development of cars, caught my attention.

One of the main features of today’s man, is to own a car that allows him  freely to move around and experience the world. The car industry tries to make its best, so that each one of us, can find the model that perfectly suits for our personal needs, and which perhaps also helps to lift our social status in the eyes of the others.

As a designer, the story of Ford T-model is something that my colleagues always tend to hype about, but not that often, the impacts of this story are examined from the reverse side. The same thing goes actually with the electric cars. Like on today’s lecture, there are many news coming from the car industry, which is desperately trying to invent new, more sustainable solutions, so that conscious people can continue moving around in their private vehicles. Today the Toyota’s Prius had the chance to shine. But like usually, nobody asks if electric cars have a dark reverse side as well. As long as people are focused mainly on two things, oil and CO2 emissions, it is easy to keep on marketing electric cars as a great innovation. However, despite the fact that the electric car may not produce any CO2 emissions during its use, who says that  producing the electricity for the electric cars is CO2 free? Using non-renewable energy sources for producing electricity, such as coal and oil, still play the main role in the present-day world and these two sources increase continuously CO2 emissions. Because of this fact, the sustainability of the electric cars should be questioned more often. But like said before, this side of the electric cars hardly ever is mentioned. And I do understand why not. It is not a good marketing speech.

Elina

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