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Thursday
Feb042010

The Cost of Changing Everything

A successful businessman said, "It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power." Inspiring. But in a down-spiraling economy, what is the cost of change? For most of us, change is not something we welcome with open arms. It can be expensive and exhausting. Some of us are so resistant to change that we have decided no matter what better comes along, we are sticking to our guns and riding it out. This is a dangerous way to live.

Around the same time Pizza Fusion was born in 2006, I remember seeing something on the internet about this controversial new documentary called 'Who Killed the Electric Car?' Hybrids were the coolest thing on the block and people were already talking about "production bottleneck". I almost didn't buy into the hype. I remember finding it hard to believe that "given the quick turnaround in selling a Prius, Toyota just can't make them fast enough." The idea of people getting on waiting lists to purchase hybrid cars seemed the same as camping outside the mall for an iPhone or PS3. 1) Get a life. 2) Get it the next day. Besides, since when does the consumer chase the manufacturer? And of all industries, why would an automaker not have enough cars to sell us? In an article titled 'Union of Concerned Scientists questions true value of hybrid cars', skeptics explain that option packages and other 'forced' features increased the base price of many vehicles, balancing out the environmental value. Consider "going green" a metaphor for the new hole in your wallet.

On the other hand, those of us who are not the campers might remember feeling somewhat similar to the way we do now about the recently announced Apple iPad. First impression: "Wow, those are cool. Too bad it's not perfect. I'll wait 'til they get it right and the price comes down." Fast forward four short years and it might be time to start paying attention. After more than two years of online debating and waiting with each other, 7,000 to 10,000 'happy campers' could actually have a long-promised hybrid electric-drive vehicle sitting in their driveways this fall – at least in theory. It will be called the Chevrolet Volt and just a few thousand more competing electric cars will be available for sale this year – such as the Nissan Leaf, BYD e6, and Fisker Karma.

These are not tiny electric 'punishment' toys like the Smart Cars used by our Miami Beach store (no break problems so far!). Until now electric vehicles have been more like a golf cart. Now they have range, highway speed, and performance we've never seen before. They didn't ask for my opinion, but if they did, I would recommend WestMidWest Productions did what they could to speed up the release of their follow up documentary film Revenge of the Electric Car to drop this year instead of next.

For a study on whether hybrid cars are really better for the environment, check out EarthTalk at Physorg.com. For an inspiring story of a man who's road-tripped the country sixteen times and counting, powered by vegetable oil, visit GreaseNotGas.com. To change everything, start right now. Thanks for reading.

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