In a move that I have been waiting for, for a long time, GM is closing four plants according to the Associated Press in a story out this morning.
Rising gas prices have precipitated a dramatic switch from larger vehicles to smaller ones, and American car companies have been left out in the cold in a sense because their gas sipping options are far less populous than those of foreign car makers.
GM, the one responsible for attempted murder of the electric car not five years ago can now be seen as making amends for that. It now appears that the Chevy Volt just may actually happen. The shift away from bigger vehicles is even more dramatic when you understand that switching from a 10 mpg vehicle to a 20 mpg vehicle saves approximately 600 gallons of fuel per year while switching from a 50 mpg to a 100 mpg saves only 120 gallons. Think if someone switches from a Hummer to a Prius, they would save approximately 750 gallons of fuel a year, and at current prices, that's a hunk of change.
Speaking of Hummer, GM has decided to reevaluate the brand, possibly even selling it. This is the thing I am glad of the most, because Hummer means so much more than just a big SUV, it really represents something to the rest of the world. The rest of the world sees Hummers as small tanks, and here our moderately wealthy drive them as family cars or commuters.
GM says the change is permanent, let's hope so, and let's hope that other car manufacturers do the same. Toyota needs to get rid of Sequoia.
I think with the right impetus, we can transition away from fossil fuels without having a huge crash.