Who’s Laughing Now?

AllieBartlett, Staff Reporter

Upon buying a car, it is typical for Americans to sacrifice efficiency for style; bigger and badder is better. However, with the recent gas shortage due to a pipe break in Alabama, those with the smaller electric cars seem to be racing ahead.

Four years ago, gas prices skyrocketed due to an oil leak that limited the availability of gas everywhere; car owners stood in line for hours just to fill up their tank. Although the spill was later fixed, and gas stations reverted back to their normal prices, it should have had a more lasting effect on the American Public. This shortage in 2012 should have been followed with fear of detrimental effects this dependency could cause upon recurrence. Had the possibility for future crisis been stressed, instead of forgetting the issue entirely, people could have been more prepared for the recent pipe break.

One method of preparation, which should have been taken more seriously by the state of Georgia, could have been a bigger transition to electric cars. In 2011 the first fully electric car was introduced: the Nissan Leaf. This was the first vehicle under the complete operating power of electricity, unlike the hybrids or Prius’ introduced earlier that were still pumping gas in their tanks. This product has introduced many to the art of electric vehicles, but the model has yet to make a dent in the gas car population. The question becomes, then, aside from getting lucky during gas shortages, are they really worth it?

Of course, they have their flaws: limited driving range and lengthy charging time, for example. When it comes down to it, though, which is more reliable? Oil under the control of foreign countries and the earth’s natural forces, or electricity under the individuals complete disposal? This crisis may only affect people for a short amount of time, but the world does not come with an unlimited oil supply. One day it will run out for good, and a more self sufficient and energy efficient economy is the only way for America to successfully overcome that. So, it’s time to respect the Leaf and stop laughing.

 

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