Global Electric e4
Global Electric Motorcars
Global Electric Motorcars’ e4 may look like a glorified golf cart, but it does 30 miles on a single charge and will help you break your addiction to foreign oil.
By
msnbc.com contributor
updated 6/28/2007 11:53:38 AM ET 2007-06-28T15:53:38

There isn’t much about buying gasoline these days to inspire comfort.

It’s not only expensive, but some substantial portion of your money goes to fill the treasuries of Middle Eastern regimes, even some that are declared enemies of our country. Even if the fuel comes from domestic sources like the Gulf of Mexico or Alaska, there are still concerns about carbon emissions when you drive.

But most of us have to drive, so what to do?

How about looking at alternatives that can reduce our use of foreign oil, our use of nonrenewable fuels and our contribution to global warming? The good news is that there really are options available, and they don’t involve jerry-rigging a science fair contraption that propels you to work using sails snatched from the local marina.

Available solutions range from driving less to driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle, or using  renewable or domestically produced fuels for some or all of your needs. During World War II there was a well-known public service campaign that asked drivers, “Is this trip really necessary?” Today, with the country engaged in another war that is underscoring our nation's dependence on foreign oil, that question has a renewed relevance.

But if the trip is necessary, maybe you don’t need to drive a 4,500-pound, four-wheel-drive, seven-passenger, cargo-hauling people mover for your solo commute. Those of us who can walk or bike to work probably already do. Of course, not many of us are built like Lance Armstrong. But maybe a moped or economy car would do the job, slashing your contribution to unscrupulous despots and global warming.

Follow the “slide show” link below to see our list of the best ways to kick your oil addiction, from the iZip I-750 electric scooter to the Honda Civic GX, which runs on natural gas.

Finally, if petroleum-based gasoline really is your only fuel option, there are plenty of ways to use less of it. Smaller, thriftier conventional cars and the ever-growing family of hybrid gas-electric powered vehicles present a growing opportunity to save gas, even for those of us who really do need to haul a lot of people or tow medium-sized trailers.

The more spacious 2008 Toyota Highlander hybrid electric crossover SUV, for example, has seating for seven and can be expected to return 25 miles per gallon in everyday driving, potentially halving the fuel bill for those of us who have to drive those seven-seaters.

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