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April 13, 2007

What Are You Waiting For?

by Lynne Mason of  Electric Cars Are for Girls
A most useless place - the waiting place...
...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow...

- Dr. Seuss

Se10 You know all about global warming. Every time you fill up the tank, you get to hear your teenager's lecture on carbon, cars, and dead polar bears. You know all about air pollution. You can SEE it hanging over the city.  There are three inhalers in the glovebox for all the "bad breathing days".
You know all about the oil companies' record profits. Really, does that oil executive NEED a new yacht?  That was supposed to be the kids' college fund!

Sure, it would be better if we all got out of our cars and got on the BUS...but America is a car culture.  We LOVE our cars.  All our suburbs and towns are set up for cars.

But you don't have to drive a gas-gobbler anymore, girlfriend.  There are really nice electric cars around that cost pennies per mile, are as reliable as Seattle rain, and are so addictively fun to drive they should come with a warning label.

So tell me - why are we still PINNED TO THE PUMP?

Reason #1:   We think there aren't any electric cars.

There's a movie about this, Who Killed the Electric Car? - perhaps you've seen it.
They're not really dead.  What "died" was the automakers desire to manufacture them, because they're not as profitable as gas-guzzlers.  They don't break down nearly as often, they don't need all the servicing, oil changes, engine parts...all the "back-end" profits the automakers are used to.  We, the PINNED, are the "cash cows" they're not ABOUT to let out to pasture.

They'd like people to think nobody WANTS them.  But we're not NOBODY. There are still electric cars available (And even dealerships! ).  You just have to know where to look, and keep an open mind.

Reason #2:  We believe they're too expensive.

Smallgreenzenn You can get a selection of "entry-level" electric cars for 9-15K - including sedans, pickups, vans, tropic and sport types, and three-wheeled city cars for purchase or business lease - and financing is available. These cars don't run on the freeway; they're designed to get you around town.  But they're so nimble, responsive and quick that you'll probably forget they're "low-speed" electric vehicles after about a block. And once you get used to plugging them in at night, you won't miss the gas station, I promise;.

You can buy an excellent conversion (once a gas car, now runs on electricity instead) for less than 20K. These will run on the freeway and are regular cars - so installing the car-seat is easy, and all the usual replacement parts like brakes and windshield wipers are easy to find.  And did you know you can get the 20-25K Toyota Prius converted to a plug-in hybrid for another 10-12K, which gives you the option of driving all-electric around town, but switching to the gas engine if you need to make a longer trip?

Reason #3:  We're waiting for a better battery.

Hey, what did Dr. Seuss say about WAITING? Many people think they need a car that will run on the freeway for two hundred miles, and that will hold three kids, two dogs, and a cooler. But have you ever figured out exactly how much you drive in a day, and where?  Apparently most people drive the second car less than thirty miles a day.  How about you?

The truth is, cars with the batteries available now will get you to work and back.  They'll pick up the kids from school.  They'll get the dogs to the vet.  Usually, folks have a lot more car than they really use.

Reason #4:  We think they're just as polluting as regular cars; it's just that the pollution comes from coal to make electricity rather than from the tailpipe.

This is absolutely not true.  There is an excellent collection of research at which concludes that electric cars, even when powered 100% by coal-produced electricity, produces much less pollution because electric motors are considerably more efficient than gas engines.

Cleaning up a few thousand coal-burning power plants, or switching them to solar and wind energy, is a whole lot simpler than trying to control 200 million carbon-coughing tailpipes, which might be low-polluting when they're new but get dirtier as they get older.

We women have choices.  We can stop contributing to global warming with our hard-earned dollars.  We can MAKE electric cars catch on.  They're COOL.

Come on, then! Whatcha WAITING for?


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