A Smart Way to Travel?

Mark MacGillivray

I love being green.

You get to try new ways of doing things to make things better. In this case, I took a 600 km road trip from Calgary to Edmonton and return in a Smart Car with my buddy David.

Now, Smart Cars are considered ’smart’ because they’re light and compact, needing little fuel to propel itself. What wasn’t really smart was the fact that we chose this vehicle to brave the 120 kph headwinds that threatened to toss us into the ditch!

While this caused a little white knuckling, and more than a little skidding about , we made good time up to Edmonton.

The Smart Car was a car share provided by the Calgary Alternative Transportation Cooperative, or CATCO. Operating a fleet of seven car share vehicles of various makes, they are rapidly growing as a legitmate option for those who do not want to own a vehicle, but need one to get around the city.

Despite having an 800 cc, 3-cylinder engine, we needed to fuel up no less than three times due to the small size of the gas tank.

The suspension was pretty unforgiving as well. When we weren’t being jostled by the wind gusts, the cracks in the road threw us about quite a bit as well. David equated the bumpy ride to that of riding a motorcycle.

All in all, the whole trip only costed us about $30 in petrol, which would have easily cost over $100 in a typical SUV. However, the need for frequent stops to refill as well as the unforgiving suspension makes this a poor choice for extended road trips. My ass will never be the same again!

All in all, it was a beautiful trip up to Edmonton and we tried something new. That’s what being green is all about!