Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Better Place works toward a better world for all

In these difficult economic times, vacationers are increasingly choosing "stay-cations" as an option to help save on the traditional costs of air travel and the like. This leads to an increased reliance on our cars for vacation travel. Making that choice, our four-wheelers still cost us a fair bit in gas and oil expenses, which in turn contributes to a greater release of toxins and pollutants into the Earth's atmosphere.

The CJN recently visited the Better Place education and demonstration center at Toronto's Evergreen Brick Works. Better Place is an American-Israeli company and a global provider of networked charge spots, battery switch stations and systems that will optimize the driving experience by helping reduce our dependence on oil and its petroleum byproducts.

Sunday Feb. 26 was the last day the Better Place Brick Works demonstration center was open to the public to promote "green power" and sustainable living by employing newly adopted EV (Electric Vehicle) car models. The Ontario government provided them with a one-year grant to help spread the "drive clean" message.

It was an eye-opening experience, as The CJN got to test drive an EV from Nissan. The car drove just as a Better Place educator explained it would – incredibly smooth and amazingly silent. Without gears and traditional vehicle mechanisms, the Nissan EV relies solely on the electric systems for propulsion. With but a gentle press on the accelerator, the car just about took off at high speed.

Ontario is working to reach its goal of having one car out of every 20 be an EV and on the road by the year 2020.

It will be an exciting feat and a miraculous innovative shift when we truly do, one day, leave the world of the combustion engine behind for hybrid cars and all manner of eco-friendly affordable alternatives.

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