Toward greener cars

Richmond Hill, Ont. -- While I salute Buzz Hargrove's desire to put clean
vehicles on the road (Greener Cars -- We Can Get There From Here -- Dec.
11), I question whether initiatives to promote research and development
directly are needed.

Green automotive technology already exists. Last year, our family drove our
four-cylinder car 1,200 kilometres to New Brunswick on less than a tank. We
had the air-conditioning on, the trunk was packed, and we still used just
3.9 litres per 100 kilometres. The car used B20 biodiesel, containing 20 per
cent vegetable oil.

A more efficient way to get cleaner vehicles on the road is for the federal
government to boost gasoline taxes. Motorists, not wanting to pay large sums
for fuel, might give up their love affair with six- and eight-cylinder
engines and buy only efficient vehicles (such as the one I bought two years

Car companies would need to offer more efficient vehicles to survive, and if
they conducted some R&D to get there, so be it.