Did you know that General Motors has “a minivan that costs only $5,000 and gets more than 40 miles per gallon” (according to NPR)? It does! There’s a catch, though. You have to be in China or some other developing nation.
Reading the article, the comments about it are dismissive. Quotes like “There are frankly some lawn tractors that have more horsepower than that”, even though it has a top speed of 80 miles an hour. Or it doesn’t have “entertainment and navigation systems”. Well, yeah, and it also cost 5Gs! For that price, alot of people would be happy to buy the whole family some iPods and a map!
I think the one valid criticism of the van is the dearth of safety features. But like they say, “In Shanghai, a little van is a lot safer than fighting traffic on a bicycle”. And that brings up a question of whether or not we need to have all our cars equipped to be so big and fast. I think alot of people would like low cost motor vehicles that would be prohibited from highway driving but allowed to go on basic roads.
I think the future is in much lower cost motor vehicles, as much as it is about electric or hybrid cars. Let’s see if GM can prove me right.