Against the Wind to go.
One problem in the short run is that hybrids and electric cars are still rather expensive compared to regular "family" cars. My husband really, really, really wants to buy an electric car but there aren't any we can afford so it looks like he'll be driving his old '88 Cougar (which we got from my dad) for a while longer. (And he's got a good job. He's a University Professor. While we are not "rich" in comparison to US standards, we are also not anywere close to what I would call poor.) Is that true in Europe as well? Is it difficult to find electric cars that you could fit a whole family into? (I'm asking because I want to know, I'm not trying to make a point or anything....I know it can be difficult to distinguish the difference through a computer.)
Also, there is still a difference between the US and Europe with the issue of public transportation. I live in Portland, Oregon which is supposed to be the most "bike-friendly" city in the US as well as having a pretty good public transportation system and having an urban-growth boundary to keep us from getting the urban sprawl that many cities have. Even so, it isn't always feasible to take public transportation. My husband's commute driving is 22 minutes. Taking public transportation takes him about an hour and a half. Yes, we could have bought a house closer to his work, but that happens to be in the area of some of the lowest-performing schools in the area...and there's no way we could afford private school. He does try to carpool when he can, and we're lucky because being a Professor, he only has to go in to work three days a week and can work the other days at home. Anyway, most cities in the US don't have public transportation as good as Portland's and are not nearly as safe for bikers and pedestrians. And in more rural places they may not have any at all. Granted, it's been fifteen years since I've been to Europe, but it was way the heck easier to get around there on public transportation than it is here....especially between cities. That's nearly impossible here unless you're right along the East Coast. We are way more spread out than Europe so having trains running between all the cities is pretty much impossible.
I do hope that this makes people change their habits (consolidating trips instead of running to the store several times a week and walking more) and buy more fuel-efficient cars and that it makes cities invest in better public transportation, but that kind of thing is going to take a long time. It won't happen because for one summer gas is over $4 a gallon.