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Nissan exec: “Car culture is fading”

by Richard Masoner

Here’s an interesting article from CNN. Thomas Lane is in charge of strategy and product planning for Nissan Motors in Japan. While car ads continue to push the idea that driving is pure pleasure that’s often done on open roads in pristine wilderness, commuters around the world and in America are finding that car ownership is expensive, time consuming and not much fun.

Lane points to global trends that discourage automobile use: congestion pricing in city centers and young people who’d rather spend their money on electronic gadgets rather than car stuff, with many people switching to mass transit for everyday transportation and rentals or car sharing for longer trips.

Read more at CNN Money. Props to Bike Portland, where there’s more commentary on this trend.

 
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11 Responses to “Nissan exec: “Car culture is fading””

  1. Jennifer says:

    But if car culture is fading, why do we need congestion pricing?

  2. != says:

    My guess: Because while Americans are starting to dislike their cars(the slow fading), they are still terribly addicted to them and need to pushed some to consider alternatives.

  3. debrajean says:

    Bicycling is not only less wasteful on our fossil fuels, it’s also healthier. I can see using a bike if you live in a city and it’s possible to get to work or anywhere else you need to go. But it’s not possible with persons who live outside of town. Pedaling 25 miles round trip to get to work and back everyday, isn’t something your average person is even going to consider. What about one of those Vespas or something like it?

  4. Cafn8 says:

    I do wish car culture was waning. As much as I enjoy driving, I feel that if I could make the jump from part-time, fair-weather bike commuter to selling my car I would be a little wealthier and much healthier. Not to mention, I love riding bikes. That being said, I see car culture as deeply entrenched as ever. I do perhaps hear a whisper of something changing, but I usually attribute that to my choice of frequenting sites like this one.

    As far as a 25 mile round trip is concerned, I would say that the average person could ride 12.5 miles twice per day if he or she works up to it. The hardest part, in my opinion is getting past the mental barrier and saying “I could do that”, followed by logistical issues such as finding a safe route and avoiding stinking at work. That being said, perhaps a 100 mpg moped would be a decent compromise for some, provided the engine isn’t a heavy polluter.

  5. Quinn says:

    the Quickest way to get people to stop driving- Stop selling small cars and raise gas to $10/gal.

    Jen we need it to help wane the car culture faster.

    I think we need to put laws in place like Germany has for the Autoban- $1500 fee to get the autoban endorsement, and 1st offense. $5k

  6. David Cary says:

    There is a developing technology that deals with the worst of the auto’s characteristics: use of fossil fuels and polution. That is the COMPRESSED AIR CAR. It uses a fuel that is free, everywhere, and doens’t need to be transported and spews out the exhaust pipe the same thing: air. For the price of a few tanks of gasoline a person could purchase a compressor to recharge the car for another 50-200 miles of pollution-free driving. This is a technology that is independently being developed in France and Australia. Why not in America with all its wealth of money and talent? Then we just keep installing windmills, tidal generators, solar arrays, etc. so we cen gradually get rid of our coal-fired electric generators. Is there a down side here that I’ve missed? Check it out on Google.

  7. != says:

    The compressed air car still uses fossil fuels…for the compressed air cannister recharge. While you could use a solar cell to drive a compressor to recharge the car, how many places will have that ability right now. Yes, it is probably much more efficient and less polluting than the gas driven variety, but it still hasn’t moved away from using fossil fuels…yet.

  8. Shanyn says:

    As long as people keep buying into the suburban dream of owning a 3000+sq ft home on a large lot, they will need cars to get to and from their McMansions. I recently moved from a golf course community to a residence that is downtown and a 10 minute walk from my job (5 minutes by bike). I soon realized that I have shopping, public transportation, education, dining and entertainment within a 2 mile radius. This has made it entirely possible to go carfree (anyone interested in 2002 Subaru?). But realistically, most people are not willing to make the lifestyle changes that make this practical. And they will continue to view those without a car as being in some way disadvantaged. That makes me sad for them, while I enjoy a brisk lunchtime walk, get to eat on my own sunporch and play with my dogs before heading back to the office…

  9. Teague says:

    It’s definitely hard to say that car culture is fading by looking at the numbers, but all social trends begin on the periphery and then go mainstream. And I can see hints of movement toward a more rational relationship with our automobiles in the way the discussion is moving these days.

  10. Robert Sorenon says:

    I have to agree with Teague. We are moving slowly (painfully slow) to a different view on driving and commuting. In Green Bay WI the city is considering broadening the bus service out into suburbs they never went to before and they recently added bike carriers on the buses. I commute 8 miles one way to work and in the winter it would be nice to have a alternative to the bike on really cold days. Granted, like today, I have the ability to work from home. It is nice to see communities requesting bus services and bike lanes. Slow but moving in the right direction.

  11. Interesting, but car culture is related with people demands

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