Imagine A World Without Gasoline Cars, Then Fly There To See It

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Electric bus in Zermatt, Switzerland

Electric bus in Zermatt, Switzerland

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Gasoline and diesel fuel today power almost every one of the 1 billion vehicles on the planet.

But what would it be like to live in a town with no gas-powered cars at all?

The little Swiss skiing village of Zermatt may be one of the few places in the world where it's possible to experience such a world.

It has long been car-free, but it has now added public buses for transport of people and goods--and the fleet is comprised entirely of locally built electric-powered "Zermatt buses," with a distinctive shape and a deep sky-blue paint job.

The resort area proudly describes the buses on its website, noting that with up to 30,000 visitors visiting the village each year, growing demand for clean transport led to the creation of the locally built plug-in vehicles.

Now, about 500 of the electric buses have joined the throngs of pedestrians, and the four remaining horse carriages that used to be the dominant mode of transport for both people and cargo.

Several Alpine resorts have also tested electric rental cars for visitors, including the now-defunct Think City two-seat battery electric car.

A vacation in Zermatt, granted, is a pricey way to experience emission-free living.

But it's nice to know it's there, isn't it?

For the flip side of a gasoline-free world, by the way, we recommend Nissan's clever ad for its Leaf electric car that imagines what the world would be like if many more things were powered by gasoline.

Like coffeemakers, and photocopiers, and dental drills, and computers, and televisions, and digital music players, and ...

Watch the ad below.

Then imagine the crystal-clear skies of Zermatt with the gentle hum of electric vehicles in the background.

And not a gasoline engine anywhere.


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Comments (7)
  1. "A vacation in Zermatt, granted, is a pricey way to experience emission-free living. But it's nice to know it's thee, isn't it?"

    Oooh! WOW!... a Theme Park!

    Hello Minnie!!!


  2. Really? No.

    It's actually the exact experience of why theme parks have done so much more poorly in Europe. Themes parks work well in countries where everyday is experienced adjacent to strip malls and the roar of traffic.

    In countries where down time is spent lolling in public parks created from the estates of dukes, counts, barons, princes, earls and kings...and within the shadows of old castles, not so much.

  3. The village of Saas Fee has been this way for quite some time, and ICE vehicles have to park on the outskirts, then it is human power or electric taxis (identical to what is pictured above) to do all the work.

    Makes being in the town centre a real pleasure - i.e. silence. :)

  4. That is a great idea to get great vacation spots into Electric only area...

    But the Nissan Leaf Ad is TERRIBLE. If everything is powered by gasoline engine, then why does the computer use gas? I can't see how gas engine is going to power a laptop unless it is fuel cell... I especially dislike the "knock" on the Volt toward the end of the Ads...

  5. Sorry, but I think you might have missed the point of the ad! MW

  6. Mackinaw Island, MI has been gas free forever or at least ever since i was a kid but i guess if you count methane from the horses, that might be a different story

  7. If more cities did this, imagine how much better their economy would be (won't have to import gasoline or oil) and also their air would be cleaner.

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