Cars I Canít Review
probably never read a road test review by me of the Nissan Leaf,
or the Chevy Spark, or the Toyota RAV4 electric. And that may tell
you every thing you need to know about these vehicles.
review them because they cant make it down here for me
here being about 220 miles and five hours driving time
from the hubs where the car companies keep their fleets of new cars,
which ordinarily get sent out for hundreds of miles in every direction
to guys like me for week-long evaluations. The problem is that not
one of the new electric cars has the legs to make it even halfway
here before it conks out and requires a lengthy (several hours
worth, at least) recharge. And thats if a special high voltage
charging station is available between Here and There. If its
not (and its not because such installations are as
hard to find as a gas station that sells 100 octane leaded premium)
then you are looking at an overnight stay midway while the car rejuvenates
itself from a standard 110 volt household outlet at the Motel 6
or some such.
Hence, no electric
press cars for me. Or for any other automotive journalist who doesnt
live within say 50 miles or so of the press car hub which
is a lot of us, by the way. Anyone who actually enjoys driving will
do almost anything to escape a major metro area such as Washington,
D.C. I know, because I used to live up there. And up there, the
traffic is such an omnipresent boggle that it really doesnt
matter whether youve got a new BMW M3 or minivan to test-drive.
Because you cant drive. All you can do is sit
and stew, briefly moving forward a little, then stopping
staring at the bumper of the car in front of you. Thats why
I left and ditto many others like me.
the only evaluations youll read and have read
are written by guys snuggled up close to the press car hubs or flown
in for the day which I used to do but dont anymore
because of the TSA and its despicable Slave Training sessions.
for the electric Leaf, Spark, RAV4 and others that rely on hundreds
of pounds of caustic batteries and the juice provided by C02 and
soot-spewing coal and oil-fired utility plants rather than clean-burning,
energy dense and readily portable gasoline, the DC area and similar
environments are ideal. Theres very little driving
going on and lots of just sitting. And at this, the electric
car excels. When not moving, the electric car is not running. And
thus, it is consuming no or very little of its minimal reserves
of power. The less you drive an electric car, the more efficient
it is. Of course, this is an odd definition of efficient in that
youre not going anywhere. And maybe thats the
point of the exercise.
On the other
hand, if you do try to go someplace in one of these things, youll
run into trouble.
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columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2012 Eric Peters
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