May 26, 2021

Coffee, Cars, Congestion and Why This Matters


With climate change industries invested in making, brewing and selling coffee are realizing that the old coffee workhorse, Coffee Arabica may not be able to survive. Coffee Arabica is grown in high elevations above 1,500 meters in cool tropic forest. Making up 70 percent of all coffee sold in the world, Coffee Arabica is a victim of a changing climate making those conditions hard to find, maintain and duplicate. Which of course means no coffee.

Thankfully as this article in the National Post by Laura Brehaut  states botanists have found a solution with Coffee Stenophylla, a coffee that is grown at low-elevations and likes hot tropical forests such as in West Africa. The best part is “it tastes like high-quality Arabica, and could hold promise for the future of the coffee industry”.

The coffee industry in Canada is worth 6.2 billion dollars annually, and having a new coffee that works in a changing climate can keep the industry afloat.

The same dynamic applies to the automobile industry, which in Canada is worth 98 billion dollars annually.

The new coffee species for the automotive industry looks alot like the past, which pleases vehicle manufacturers greatly. With the requirement to have all new vehicles in Canada as electric by 2040, the Ford Motor Company simply found a way to take one of their best selling vehicles, the Ford F-150 pick up, and plonk an electric battery into it.  By offering a game changing low price of  just over $41,000, Ford hopes to compete directly for the electric market by using a similar big truck platform and just changing the juice that moves it.

There are breathless accolades of achievement being showered on Ford for “thinking out of the box”. But when you look at it, it’s the same old box with a different type of battery, and will still contribute to congestion and pedestrian fatalities (due to its size and blind spots.) The price means that it is an approachable option for many people, and the fact it is a Ford F-150 means that there is already a market for what is the same thing that people were driving before climate change and air pollution suggested a major shift.

Of course the auto industry is much bigger than the coffee industry, but both products mean that the industries do not need to substantially change, just remarket a similar product.

You still can’t drive your way out of congestion, but you can sell a “greener” product so you feel like you are doing something for the planet. Even though you are not. And how popular is the Ford F150 electric? In 48 hours, there were 45,000 presale orders for the 2022 release.

Take a look at the YouTube video below advertising Ford’s truck where the big feature is  the “frunk” a “walk in closet you can drive ” that can carry 400 pounds.

You just can’t make this stuff up.


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  1. By far the biggest reduction in automotive greenhouse gas emissions comes from replacing large vehicles. Getting one gas F150 off the road in favour of an electric one is much better for the environment than switching from a Corolla to a Prius, for example. (In pure CO2 emissions, it’s even better than switching from Corolla to a bicycle).

    This new truck is also part of a culture shift in the very people who’ve been most resistant to taking measures to mitigate climate change.

    Editor’s Note: Replacing a vehicle with a vehicle does nothing to improve congestion. That is the point of the article.

  2. My understanding is that Ford is targeting the fleet and commercial market as their first customers for an all-electric truck. Running with the unpopular assumption that not all trips are transit/bikeable, and there will be a need for pick-ups for some time to come, I do see this as some good news overall.

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