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RE: New "Air Car" to work like steam locomotive

This is what we were talking about on the oil board:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26058387
ST. LOUIS - With two GEO Trackers, a Lexus and a pickup truck, retired coal miner Bob Woll has many ways to zip around his southern Illinois town to visit friends, the fairgrounds or the frozen custard stand. These days, he prefers his electric golf cart.
"There's no noise, no checking the oil or how much gas you've got. You just get on and go," said Woll, a 67-year-old alderman in Sesser, Ill., who helped pass an ordinance permitting golf carts to ride on the streets.
Sesser is among dozens of communities across the country responding to $4-a-gallon gasoline by allowing vehicles best known to country-club duffers to roam the streets as a cheaper, cleaner alternative to cars and trucks. The 20-year-old cart Woll bought for $300 gets 20 miles on a 10-hour charge.
One factor that could limit the vehicle's prevalence off the golf course is safety: Studies have shown that roughly half of golf cart injuries occur on streets or residential property, and injury rates are on the rise â€" to the tune of 12,000 annually.
Experts who have studied the accident rates say helmets, seat belts and driver education programs would mitigate the problem, though these measures rarely are mandated by state or local ordinances.
Twenty-six states, from Maine to Oregon and Wisconsin to Georgia, allow the use of low-speed electric vehicles on local streets, or give towns the power to make that decision, according to Jim Reed of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
While there are no estimates of just how many golf carts on the nation's roads, communities increasingly are signing off on them:
Circleville, Ohio, officials voted last month to allow carts on city streets with posted speed limits of 35 mph or less, with the stipulation that they're titled, insured and modified to be street-legal.
At least 40 Wisconsin communities, including Milwaukee, Madison and Racine, permit the carts on their roads, and more are considering it.
And in Illinois, three communities in Iroquois County, bordering Indiana, allow residents to drive carts.
Fuel efficiency isn't the only reason golf carts are being touted by municipalities.
In Bremen, Ohio, sheriff's deputies say they make it easier for officers to interact with the 1,200 locals. And in the St. Louis suburb of Pine Lawn, Mo., the police chief said 15 mph golf carts are less intimidating to the public.
At Augusta, Ga.-based E-Z-GO, which makes electric vehicles that look like fancy golf carts, consumer orders are up nearly 30 percent over this time last year, company president Kevin Holleran said. New carts with headlights, tail lights, turn signals and what Holleran calls "more of those creature comforts" cost about $8,000.
Electric models, which can cover 40 miles on each charge, have proven more popular than gas-powered models, which get about 30 miles to the gallon, Holleran said.
At her Critters Golf Carts store in Woodstock, Ill., northwest of Chicago, Shirley Forman says her sales have been supercharged. She normally sells 60 or 70 carts a year, but has sold at least 128 already this year. "It's really turned around," she says.
In most towns, carts allowed for street use are required to have a sign denoting them as slow-moving vehicles or tall orange flags that easily can be seen by motorists. They're generally not allowed on sidewalks. In Sesser, residential golf cart users must have liability insurance and pay a $35 fee.
Many states require a golf cart's operator to have a valid driver's license. And while South Carolina requires that the carts have a state permit, most other states don't require registration for street-use carts, said Nick Farber, a research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
CONTINUED: "They can be quite dangerous"
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1 | 2 | Next >[url] Ok...Eig...rged, but it should be most of the way there.
 

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RE: New "Air Car" to work like steam locomotive

Only two forces will make it happen, I fear: market forces (cost of gas) or subsidies from the gov't. (Another form of tax). Neither seem palatable to me.


I hold to the view we are within a decade of pretty much having to go for the (now) $8000 electric golf cart option because gas prices will probably be triple what we are paying now...and very likely rationed to boot. The oil demand and supply curves get absolutely screwy before too much longer. So, it'll either be something like this, take a bus or train (if available), ride a bike or walk.
 
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