In the Blog

Zero Emission No Noise

May 7th, 2008     by Catherine Hayday     Comments

I’m taking a break from videogames this week (though, like the weeds in Animal Crossing, they’ll be back). Turning instead to something ‘wired’ but entirely different…

With all of the noise about Ontario becoming a have-not province, and the apparent collapse of the Canadian auto manufacturing sector, it would be nice if there was some sort of significant innovation in this major market, with international appeal, with which Canada could become a global leader.

Oh wait. There is. A made in Canada electric car perfectly poised to step in as the standard in next wave urban driving.

Nah, let’s make more SUVs.

The best synopsis of this ZENN car (Zero Emission No Noise) is found here, courtesy of the Rick Mercer Report.

More on ZENN, and driving, after the jump.

Personally, I am very happy living car-free. If there’s a way for me to get where I’m going by walking, biking, or taking public transit, then that’s how I’ll be getting there. And that’s how I’ll advocate other people get there too.

I say that as someone who, as a young woman, was the first in line, the second the Ministry of Transportation opened, the morning of my 16th birthday. For me, my license represented freedom and independence, and it was a long time before I made those feelings discrete from driving a car.

In part because I know many of us still have those associations, and in part because I’m a reluctant realist, I acknowledge that many, many people — including the urbanites this vehicle is targeted to — drive now and will continue to drive in the future.

Thanks to the Robert Mosesification of many North American cities, the primacy of the car is going to take a long time to correct. But initiatives like ZENN help to make the best of where we are now, and start shifting our thinking about what cars are and what they can be.

Find out more: I had decided to put up a post on ZENN when I was flicking through old RMR videos on the weekend. Then this morning I picked up our new copy of Spacing magazine — which has put together an excellent issue on “The Car and the City”. Including an article on the ZENN car. Cosmic eeriness. Definitely check out Spacing’s spring issue if this is a topic you’re interested in.

Tags: eco speak

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