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Alternative Transport

Alternative Transport

Date: Apr 18 2003


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

With much of the world’s focus on events in the Middle East, it’s important to realize that one of the things that makes Middle East politics and economics so complicated is the world’s dependence on oil. Oil is the key ingredient in gasoline, which is the fuel that powers most industry and nearly all transportation systems.
Fortunately, there are some innovative people and companies that are focusing their energy on creating alternatives to the gasoline engine. One such example is the electric car. Electric cars are being developed by both small companies and the giant automakers.
Read on to learn more about alternative ways to travel!


1. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.

Someday in the future, no cars will use gasoline. There won’t be any gas left, or it will be so rare that it will be too expensive to use in cars. Luckily, there are several alternatives to gas powered automobiles. Electricity, solar power and hydrogen fuel cells are all viable ways to power a car, and all are currently being studied extensively.
Electric cars are pretty much like any other battery powered appliance. You plug them into the wall to charge up the batteries and then drive to your heart’s content. Unfortunately, electricity from you wall can be expensive because much of it currently comes from oil. Also, current versions of electric cars are smaller and slower than regular cars.
Large companies like Toyota and Honda are making hybrid cars that use electricity as well as gasoline. By using electricity, the eco-friendly Toyota Prius and Honda Insight get very high gas mileage and emit much less exhaust than a normal car. (The Honda Insight gets about 61 mpg compared to 32 for the Honda Civic.) Better gas mileage means less money spent on gas, so buying a hybrid car is a great investment.



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I don’t have an electric car, but I have two friends that do. They have cool little cars called gizmos (www.nevco.com) which only fit one person, but are a convenient alternative to a normal car. I’ve driven one of them, and it’s really fun and easy to drive.
Electric cars may not be in your city yet, but they will be soon! You should be one of the first to drive an electric car. The difference it makes it HUGE!
Have a great week!


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