User:Theosch/Coordination of alternative vehicle articles

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The purpose of this page is to coordinate discussion on various proposed merges, forks and deletions of articles having to do with "alternative vehicles". Please feel free to edit and comment, here or on the talk page.

Scope and Terminology[edit]

There are plenty of articles about conventional vehicles I am not concerned with here. My motivation is describing so-called alternative vehicles which have environmental, health and safety advantages and must become conventional vehicles of the future if we want to have human mobility for everybody without severe degradation of quality of life.

Other terms used have included green vehicles, lean mobiles, sustainable vehicles, lightweight mobiles, alternative energy vehicles, ecomobiles, ecological vehicles, micromobiles, practical vehicles, etc. None of these names seem optimal to me, so please offer suggestions or preferences. One term in use, velomobiles, seems to fit many but not all criteria.

Characteristics which might be included:

  • Power source: renewable, non-polluting, no net greenhouse gas contribution, quiet
  • Type: wheeled land vehicles
  • Size: as small as feasible for the purpose
  • Purpose: usable and practical for transportation of people or goods
  • Organisation: private or taxi
  • Weight (Mass): as light as feasible
  • Efficiency: as high as feasible
  • Safety: inherent and overall safety as high as feasible
  • Manufacture and disposal: as little pollution and grey energy used as feasible, recyclable

Characteristics which might be excluded (some could be considered later or separately):

  • Conventional vehicles which don't meet the above criteria
  • Military vehicles
  • Public transport
  • Rail, snow/ice, water, air vehicles
  • Robot or remote controlled vehicles
  • Vehicles with legs, tracks or sliding elements

The problem: multidimensional forks[edit]

There are various attributes which can be described along one-dimensional lines:

  • weight (or rather mass): from lightweight to heavy vehicles
  • size
  • number of riders or passengers
  • general type: land, water, amphibious, snow, ice or air
  • general usage: goods transport, people transport, recreation, living, sports, racing, records
  • speed
  • efficiency
  • number of wheels (or number of hulls, legs, wings, etc)
  • power source: chemical, physical, human or animal, immediate or stored,
  • degree of hybridicity
  • efficiency
  • renewability
  • environment friendliness
  • healthiness
  • notability, e.g. historical, scientific or popular significance
  • private, public or taxi
  • and so on

Even though some of these go together, there are many different combinations possible which could only be accurately catagorized in a multi-dimensional array. As human can't really "think" in more than 3 or 4 dimensions, we can't really do this. If we reduce our array to 2 or 3 dimensions, it may become unwieldy and untidy.

Forking versus merging[edit]

What we can do cleanly is either put everything into a single article, e.g. simply "Vehicles" (i.e. extreme merging), or we can create an article for every vehicle type which exists, e.g. one for "Single-person electric-assisted hydrogen hover-pallet" (i.e. extreme forking).

Clearly neither approach works and we need something in between which is in fact what there already is in Wikipedia. As people have different views and there are "forkers" and "mergers", what is actually done follows a constant debate. This is all OK, but what happens is that few people or indeed nobody can keep the entire field in view and will work on one or a few articles at a time. Thus one person may write "Hybrid-assisted pogo sticks" and another "Single-person electric monopod" and they'll both work on them separately until somebody notices and hollers "merge" or "delete".

This is also quite OK, but some things have to be done simultaneously because they depend on one another. This can only be done well if keeping an overview over all articles pertaining to the field.

So, the purpose of this page is to list all the relevant existing pages and offer a place for discussing alterations.

Existing articles[edit]

The following is a list of articles of privately ownable wheeled land vehicles which might be considered "alternative" or contain material on "alternative vehicles". It is so far a personal selection and by no means complete. Clearly some of these are superfluous and could be merged or deleted and other things missing. Some may be categories or redirects; I havn't checked everything yet.

What isn't evident is the imbalance between this field and that of conventional motor vehicles, where it seems that about every make and model of automobile has its own article. A problem is also, that cycle-type vehicles aren't categorized as vehicles.

Feel free to add article links or propose merges, deletes, and new articles or stubs. This is informal though! This is why it's on a user page and not an "official" project page.

Category sorting[edit]

The green vehicles category should only contain 3 subdivisions:

  • low emissions vehicles (biofuels, ...)
  • partial zero-emissions vehicles (hybrids, tribrids, ...
  • zero-emissions vehicles (I already sorted this section out)

All other pages, subdivisions, ... can be created below these main divisions. See the emissions standards page for more info. KVDP (talk) 16:22, 15 February 2008 (UTC)