Back In The Electric Saddle


Taking our family vacation in upstate NY (300 miles from home), I’ve been a gas-only driver for the past two weeks – including both land and water vehicles. So this morning’s trip was a nice reunion with #217, and I was reminded of some of the reasons why I enjoy driving an electric-powered car so much:

– Sound: just a gentle, electric whirring, and then it’s mostly just background road noise (tires on asphalt) until I hit the highway. And even then when I turn down the radio, it’s really interesting to hear the different sounds of other cars & trucks. Not having a loud engine noise is like occupying a parallel universe – everything is very familiar, yet fundamentally new & different.

– Smell: while I don’t hate the odor of gas, it’s really nice to not have to smell it. Today, passing by my “old” Hess station, it was a good feeling knowing that I don’t have to pop in there twice a week. It also led me to think about the various boats I got to tool around in over the past two weeks – a Jetski, a big 28-foot cruiser and a 6-seat powerboat – and how great they would be without the noise and chronic fumes. I wish I could read German, because it looks like the company AquaWatt had the same idea.  Can’t wait to ride in an electric-boat.

– Power: I love the pick-up/torque/”go” that #217 has – maybe it’s because I was guiding a minivan for the past two weeks, but power that I get from the MINI E is just plain fun. The biggest difference between this and my 2007 Infiniti G35 is that I there is no “power-curve” with the MINI – it just keeps accelerating at the same rate. Ironically, right about the time I was zipping up to speed on the highway, there was this cool story on NPR’s Morning Addition that profiled how electric vehicles are dusting gas-powered Ferrari’s and the like at drag races.

– Feel: Instead of burning 4.2 gallons of gasoline to get to and from work today, and run around my town, I’ll be using some stored electrons that the solar panels on my roof helped to generate. And maybe some of the other electricity was generated hydro-electrically, or by the Upstate NY wind towers I saw on my vacation. It just feels good to be part of the future solution now.

It was a great vacation, and I’d normally be mourning it right now. But getting to drive #217 again softens that a bit – it’s good to be back driving electric.

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One response to “Back In The Electric Saddle

  1. Dear Electric Car guy.

    Thought this graphic would be of interest to you. It is the Surface Area required to power the earth purely on solar panels. Viva!

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