First Ride in an Electric Car

by Ben N on October 20, 2010

Somebody very special just got to go for a a ride in an electric car.

What’s really cool about it, is it’s only the second time in her life she has ever been in a car at all.

My first-born daughter, Sophia Elizabeth is two days old. We just came home from the hospital this afternoon.

For a number of odd reasons having to do with the so-called health-care “system”, the big business of insurance, and how most people in the US get health insurance through employers, my daughter was born at a hospital roughly 25 miles from my home.

There are two hospitals within 3 miles of my house.

Needless to say, when I built my electric car, it was designed as a low-budget vehicle, to meet my local transportation needs. It’s was never designed for a 50 mile round-trip. I really wish we could have brought her home without using gasoline. But the world is changing. It has to, and for the better if we all work to make it that way.

Tonight was the regular evening monthly meeting of our local ecology group. I didn’t think we would make it over there. It’s been a long couple of days, without much sleep. When I suggested to my wife that we didn’t have to go, she turned me down. She wanted all our friends in the group to be able to see our daughter right away, rather than have to wait another month.

Since those meetings ARE local, it meant that we could take the EV. About a month ago, I “baby-proofed” it. That meant bolting a few things down, and measuring to make sure the car seat fits. The car seat actually takes up more leg-room than I do!

The upside to having the baby girl go for two car rides in a day, was that it was easy to tell the difference between the two. In the gas car, I couldn’t see the baby, or really even hear her either. (The car seat is in the back of the car and faces away.) In the electric car, (it’s a compact) I could see her fairly well, and hear her too. She was good on the ride out. On the way back, she cried a bit, but I could reach right back and hold her hand. My car has a manual transmission, but it’s set up so that I never have to shift in city traffic. I got to hold her hand the whole ride home, never having to let go to shift.

Just think – the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf aren’t even out yet. By the time she’s old enough to drive, the Volt and Leaf will be old-school cars. Maybe her first car will be a beater Leaf, or  a dinged-up Volt. Or maybe even her Dad’s old Electric Geo Metro.

: )

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First ride in an electric car. - Fuel Economy, Hypermiling, EcoModding News and Forum -
October 20, 2010 at 8:35 pm

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1 Eric October 21, 2010 at 5:56 am

…Make sure that she gets mothers milk for a year or more and don’t forget about cloth diapers. Get set for a lot of fun – the first year can be exhausting but it’s amazing how kids learn. You’ll never teach her to sit, crawl, walk or talk – kids are self winding and self propelled learning machines. Yea we homeschool too.

As for EVs – I’m still waiting for the only rational hybrid – a 50hp (max) elec. engine coupled to a sub 10hp battery charger with a minimal battery pack. The IC engine is set to only run full-throttle and provides enough power for highway cruising. That way you get a heater for the car and at a minimum a doubling of milage. If a Sprint can get 100 mpg in burst driving then an engine 1/5 to 1/10 the size can be twice as efficient with half the pollution. If you can – a 5hp IC engine/battery charger would let you dramatically reduce the size of your battery pack and basically leave the battery only providing energy for acceleration (assuming that your current battery range isn’t enough).

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