Reflections from Shanghai

December 2, 2009

Having just returned from teaching on an executive programme in Shanghai – my first visit to the city, two things struck me. First how, despite the internet appearing to be the same as usual, I was unable to blog, twitter or access Wikipedia and second how the internal combustion engine has to be replaced sooner rather than later. I came to the second point after going on a range of exciting taxi trips – the drivers here outshone Rome and Rio for sheer lunacy, but it was the mind blowing number of vehicles that struck me. Shanghai is a huge city – officially the population is just below 20 million, but unofficially probably closer to 30 million, larger than the populations of Australia and New Zealand put together, and it sits in a cloud of permanent smog which will undoubtedly get worse as more of the population acquire cars. Many manufacturers are well advanced in their plans for electric vehicles and it won’t come soon enough for China. I only hope F1 will take a real lead in the new technologies that will propel cars in the future. The sooner we get KERS back the better, as far as I’m concerned. Let’s hope the post 2012 regulations give the engineers the opportunity to develop some creative new ways of powering F1.

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