Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood surprised delegates at the National Bike Summit last month, when he jumped up on table and proclaimed that national policy would no longer �Sfavor motorized transportation at the expense of nonmotorized.⬝ It was a watershed�a direct statement from the US czar of transportation that fuel-efficient auto technologies, such as hybrids and electric cars, are only part of the solution.
"People want out of their cars, they want out of congestion, they want to live in livable neighborhoods and livable communities,⬝ LaHood told the crowd.
Despite the federal support for electric-drive cars--$2.4 billion in grants and $25 billion in low-interest loans for retooling, it will take decade or more for hybrids and EVs to rise above their niche status. The greenest cars are still cars�that require tons of energy, produce lots of emissions, and erode the quality of life in increasingly congested roadways. And after all, bicycles are the only true zero emissions vehicles.