Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is very proud of bringing the production of the new hybrid Camry to Australia. This means more job opportunities for the locals. Added to that is the fact that Kevin is a self proclaimed champion of the environment. The hybrid Camry will cut down on fuel consumption by a third, owing to the use of hybrid technology.
I think the government can do better. If we are really interested to cut down on fuel consumption, why not encourage the use of a smaller car? Nissan used to have a marvelous model called the Sunny which was very popular in Malaysia about 30 years ago. It was about the size of today's Corolla. It had big bumpers for direct front and rear impact. This car was truly the people's car: it was cheap to buy, cheap to run, and cheap to maintain. And it almost never gave any problems. So why are the big car makers making big-engine cars, only to improve the efficiency by a third? A Nissan Sunny would have cut down by two thirds the fuel consumption without any fancy technology. Better still, a motorized bicycle would run circles around a car and save on road congestion and parking shortages. Yet the government is silent on all these ideas.