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Bend VeloNews

Shoppers Comparison Table: Chevy Volt vs. J. Livingston Bicycle

post by: Dale  August 4, 2010

Chevy Volt Automobile
J. Livingston Bicycle
1. Endorsed by President Obama
Yes (by the way the federal gov't owns 60% of GM)
No, not yet.
2. Cost
$41,000(less tax incentives) plus the billions of tax dollars behind this project.
 $350 - $500
3. Financing
The US economy has played out. Financing will be available for very few. 
You probably won't need to finance this much.  If you do, maybe your Mom?
5. Environmental Costs: Manufacture
Manufacturing an Automobile consumes 840 gallons of oil and 120,000 gallons of fresh water!
J.Livingston bikes are made from recycled frames and other parts that are rebuilt and reused when possible
6. Environmental Costs: Use While people seem to believe that electric cars run on free energy, they will mostly be running on Coal.  That's how we generate most of our electricity.  Coal is a very dirty energy source and large source of greenhouse gases.
The large batteries packs do not last the life of car and need to be replaced. The heavy metals used for these batteries are environmentally destructive to mine and toxic to dispose of.
7. Usage costs
Electricity, insurance, batteries every 7 or so years, normal wear and tear like tires
None except normal wear and tear
8. Sedentary lifestyle
Perpetuates the inactive life where the rear end is fixed to the car seat leading to risk of obesity, diabetes and other maladies.
The Antidote!
9. Cityscape
Same old traffic, congestion, sprawl, death and injury
Imagine your town with 1/3 or 1/2 as many autos on the road, streets torn out + replaced w/ bike/walking paths + gardens!
10. Sex Appeal
That cars are considered sexy and an extension of ones ego is a Madison ave. scam.  Take all the people who bought SUV's to express their rugged outdoorsyness while they sit in gridlock commuting to their desk job.  Here in Bend Oregon a lot us are the real thing.  We drive old beat up Subarus and buy season passes, ski eqipment and nice bikes with the $ we save.
A well designed, and unique bike like a J Livingston is to be admired, but sexy?  That's weird.  What is sexy is cyclists themselves.  Cyclists pull off wearing Lycra.  Could you imagine your average American behind the wheel in Lycra?
10. Bottom Line

The potential for this depends on carbon neutral generation of electricity, but if millions of electric vehicles are plugging in might it result in more coal being burned?  It could be a step in the right direction but do we have the finances or willpower in this country to rebuild our whole power and transportation infrastructure?  A simpler, much more inexpensive solution and one that achieves much more, is to cut back your driving and bike!  Some bike commuters/shoppers are driving half the miles they did a few years ago!

Thanks for reading...ride on.

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