Wait, Turkey is beating the US, in car making? What?

Auto IndustrySo some students in Turkey have apparently done what the entire US car industry couldn’t; they built a hydrogen vehicle that gets 1,336 miles per gallon. Well, that’s what the title of the article said anyway. It’s is a bit misleading because the “group of students” is actually a group of 40 super smart people who built a car they actually drove 353 miles on a quarter gallon of hydrogen fuel. The body was made out of this extra light material, and the whole car cost $170,000 to build. They plan on trying to beat some kind of record set by a solar car, and then focus on building a non-piloted aircraft. They are asking the Turkish Aerospace Industries for assistance with their new project.

When I first heard this story I was super excited. I mean 1,336 miles per gallon? That’s amazing. Then I started to think about it.

Why does it take large institutions so long to catch up? A few years ago Detroit was the automotive capital of the world. If you don’t agree the capital was in the US, maybe it was somewhere in Japan? Germany? I wonder how many people would say the automotive capital was in Turkey off the banks of Sakarya.

The world and industry leaders have known for so long that we need to change the way we consume energy. The car industry made it look so hard to change to more efficient fuel sources. They have us all hooping and hollering over 33 miles per gallon. I’m sorry, but 1,336 sounds better.

I know that the form of the car that was made in Turkey isn’t practical for mass production. I mean, how many soccer moms are going to spend $170,000 on a minivan? Still, almost all new technology is impractical and expensive at first. That is until someone sees its practical use and spends time and research on applying the science to benefit people. Companies and industries adapt to the new technology available.

Why is so hard for US companies and industries adapt? Not just for the good of the planet. Not just for the good of the economy or their consumers. How about for themselves? The large dinosaur companies in the US are going to become extinct if they can’t evolve quicker.

Earth Space ImageAnd let’s not even talk about the fact that Turkey has an aerospace industry program that is apparently stable enough to possibly invest in some college students' experiment. I mean I think it’s great they have a program. Ciencia de largo viva, baby. But it kinda of hurts, you know, when I’m supposed to live in this really face-paced advanced country, but our very space program, NASA, is suffering from lack of funding.

Do I sound like a bitter geek? My bad.

Article Sources

http://gas2.org/2009/07/13/students-build-hydrogen-vehicle-that-gets-1336-mpg/
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1377/1

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