Alan Alda on Future Cars
By EV World
In September, 2003 Michelin sponsored its annual Challenge Bibendum, inviting the world's leading vehicles makers, as well as, aspiring hopefuls, to compete for the honors of being the cleanest, quietiest and most efficient. There to cover the event for Scientific American Frontiers was Alan Alda, who was obviously impressed by what he found and learned. That event served as the basis for a one hour-long episode entitled, Future Car, for the PBS television series that aired May 19, 2004.
Alda and his production team also travelled to Detroit and Germany to interview researchers at General Motors, Ford and Daimler Chrysler, where he asked many of the right questions. Impressed by the electric drive-only mode of new Toyota Prius, he challenged Dave Hermance to explain why, when Toyota has this marvelous technology, carmakers almost always sell power rather than efficiency? Beause, that's what customers want, was Hermance's basic response. Clearly, Alda wasn't buying it.
PBS has made the program available online in three segments: "Why Cars Must Be Green", "Goodbye Gasoline" and "Hydrogen Ahead." EV World also digitally recorded the episode's audio (for file size reasons) to MP3 format for those who would like to download the program to listen to on their personal MP3 players.