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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第2章 社会文化类 Unit 25

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2019年01月08日

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Jim Boon is a hybrid kind of guy.He drives a Toyota hybrid to work,a Honda hybrid on weekends and,as a manager for Seattle public transit he recently placed the world's largest order for hybrid electric buses. 
Now,with the biggest hybrid-bus fleet in the world,Seattle has become the main testing ground for a technology that claims it can drastically cut air pollution and fuel consumption.In the 1990s,demo fleets of 35 buses or fewer started cropping up in cities such as Tempe,Ariz.Sixteen of these early hybrids still service Genoa,Italy,where drivers switch from diesel to electric power when passing the city's downtown architectural treasures.But no city has gone as far as Seattle,which last year bought 235 GM hybrid buses at $645,000 a pop.When the final one rolls out this December,the region's bus system will be 15 percent hybrid. 
But why Seattle,and why now? The Pacific Northwest has long been a hotbed of both Green politics and cutting-edge technology.Fourteen years ago the Seattle area bought 236 Italian-made Breda buses to service a mile-long downtown tunnel.They were supposed to operate as clean electric trolleys underground,but the switching mechanism often failed and“the bus drove through the tunnel as a diesel,” says Boon.“It was pretty loud and smoky.” 
When the Bredas hit retirement age in 2002,Boon went shopping.He chose the GM buses because they use an automatic transmission and diesel boosters that provide power to scale inclines without strain.In hilly Seattle,the prospect of a hybrid that could climb like a diesel but accelerate without belching black fumes helped justify a price $200,000 higher than that of a regular bus.“The days of seeing a diesel pull away and pour out smoke are over,” says Boon.“After we drove these hybrid buses across the country,I wiped a handkerchief inside the tailpipe.It came out spotless.” 
Experts say buses are critical to realizing the hybrid dream of greater efficiency and cleaner air.It would take thousands of hybrid cars to save as many gallons of gas (750,000)as Boon expects his buses to save Seattle each year.GM claims that compared with conventional diesels,its new buses also churn out 90 percent less particulate matter—a known carcinogen.“Buses are a major source of pollution in any city,” says Dave Kircher of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.“They operate where people are breathing this exhaust,so this is a major step forward in terms of emissions.” 
And a major step forward in the marketplace: Philadelphia; Honolulu; Long Beach,Calif.,and Albuquerque,N.M.,have all bought the GM buses in recent months.GM is now touting itself in ads as the top hybrid-bus innovator,but Siemens is among the global giants dueling GM for new business,and New York plans to deploy 325 BAE Systems hybrids by 2006.“There's room for competition,” says James Cannon,editor of Hybrid Vehicles Newsletter.Seems Seattle isn’t the only city trying to leave grunge behind. 
注(1):本文选自Newsweek; 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象为2004年真题Text 1。 
1.How does Genoa protect its architectural treasures? 
A) Follow Seattle's steps to reduce pollution. 
B) Forbid cars driven by diesel to pass them. 
C) Shift the power of the hybrids when crossing. 
D) Reduce the number of the buses crossing there. 
2.Which of the following can be the main advantage of hybrid bus? 
A) Cutting air pollution and fuel consumption.B) Producing less smoke and noise. 
C) Owning strong switching mechanism. 
D) Producing less dangerous matter. 
3.The expression“churn out”(Line 4,Paragraph 5)most probably means ______. 
A) increase 
B) destroy 
C) reduce 
D) produce 
4.Why are buses critical to realizing the hybrid dream of higher efficiency and cleaner air? 
A) Buses are a major source of pollution. 
B) A single bus saves much more gas than a single car. 
C) Buses are more important than private cars in terms of transportation. 
D) Both A and B. 
5.Which of the following is TRUE according to the text? 
A) Many cities plan to buy GM buses. 
B) GM buses have the incomparable advantages over other buses. 
C) There is severe competition in the field of hybrid vehicles. 
D) The best way to keep the city clean is to buy hybrid buses. 

吉姆·布恩是个对混合事物情有独钟的人。他上班开丰田混合动力车,周末开本田混合动力车。作为西雅图公共交通系统的一位经理,他最近订购了世界上最大一批混合电力公交车。 
现在,拥有世界上最大的混合动力公交车队的西雅图已经成为一块试验田,用来检测这项混合动力车技术究竟能否大幅度降低空气污染和燃料消耗。在20世纪90年代,诸如亚利桑那州滕比这样的城市就曾有过接近35辆这样的示范车。这些早年的混合动力车至今仍有16辆服务于意大利的热那亚。在热那亚,途经城市市区的建筑瑰宝时,司机就会把柴油动力转换成电力动力。但是没有哪座城市的做法赶得上西雅图,去年它以每辆645,000美元的价格购买了235辆美国通用汽车公司生产的混合动力公共汽车。今年12月,当最后一辆车生产出来的时候,该地区的公交系统中混合动力车将占到15%。 
可为什么是西雅图?而且为什么又是现在呢?美国太平洋西北部长期以来一直是绿色政治和尖端科技产生的摇篮。14年前,西雅图地区曾购买了236辆意大利制造的布雷达公共汽车,用于一英里长的市区隧道中。本指望能把它们当作洁净的电力有轨地下电车,但是车上的转换装置经常出毛病,“而且汽车在穿越隧道时就像是辆柴油机,”布恩说,“噪音太大,烟雾太多。” 
2002年,当布雷达汽车到了“退休”的年龄时,由布恩进行新的采购。他之所以选择美国通用汽车是因为他们使用的是自动转换装置和用来爬斜坡不费力的柴油推进器。在多山的西雅图,能够像柴油机(车)那样上下行驶,加速时又不冒黑烟的混合动力车,其售价比普通汽车高出200,000美元还是合理的。“看着柴油机冒着黑烟开走的日子终于结束了,”布恩说,“我们开车驶过乡村,用手绢擦拭排气管的内部可以发现手绢一尘不染。” 
专家认为公共汽车是实现提高功效和净化空气双赢的关键。按照布恩的预计,上千辆混合动力小汽车节省下来的汽油(750,000加仑)才和公共汽车每年为西雅图节省的汽油一样多。美国通用汽车公司声称,他们的这种新型汽车产生的一种已知致癌物比传统柴油机(车)排出的少90%。“公共汽车在任何一座城市里都是主要的污染源,”普吉特海湾清洁空气监测站的戴夫·奇瑟说,“汽车一开动,人们就开始在呼吸这种废气。因此这是在汽车排放物方面迈出的重要一步。” 
这类车在市场方面的进展也向前迈出了重要的一步:最近几个月,费城、火奴鲁鲁、长堤、加州和新墨西哥州的阿尔伯克基都购买了通用生产的公共汽车。现在,通用汽车公司在广告中把自己吹嘘成最棒的混合动力公共汽车的改革者,但是与通用公司竞争这一新生意的还有全球性的大公司——西门子;纽约计划到2006年配备325辆BAE系统的混合动力车。“这还有得争。”《混合动力机动车时事通讯》的编辑詹姆士·坎农如是说。看来好像不只西雅图一座城市想要远离肮脏。 
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