Este artigo do IHT sobre o “Tata Nano” chamou-me a atenção para a questão dos carros “baratos”.

Por um lado sabemos que o estilo de vida ocidental é influenciador, apetecivel, e não seria “justo” privar os países em desenvolvimento dos estilos de vida que agora começamos a pôr em causa… Mas ao mesmo tempo já vimos o que a filosofia do “mais barato possível”, produção em massa, descartabilidade, etc resulta.

Talvez o cerne do problema resida no modelo de transportabilidade privado, a lata pessoal… não sei, digo eu e mais alguns…

MUMBAI: There was the $400 airplane seat that plummeted to $40. Then there was the $2,000 laptop reborn for $200. And now the $25,000 car has a $2,500 cousin.

The car’s cheapness could come at the cost of longevity.

And the car may be less than environmentally friendly even in complying with Indian standards. …  Michael Walsh, a pollution consultant and former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulator, said that a car so cheap was likely to lack the complex technology to maintain its initial level of emissions and that without such technology cars could pollute four to five times their initial amount before long.

“It strikes me as impossible that such a vehicle will be a very clean vehicle over the life of the vehicle,” Walsh said.

In a recent interview, Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Group, also suggested that the car’s lightness, while favorable for the environment, had frustrated efforts to make it safe. “We will have far lower emissions than today’s low-end cars,” he said. But, he added, “The emissions standards were much easier to meet than the crash test.”

Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Arlington, Virginia. But, he added, “If what we’re talking about in India is people having the option of getting off the streets, from motorcycles and bicycles where they are at risk from bigger vehicles, this may actually be an improvement of the safety environment.”

India offers cheapest car on earth – International Herald Tribune