I have been hankering after an electric car for some time. I got one of the early Prius hybrids in 2003 and enjoyed it until passing on to my grandson. It is still running to this day. After looking into electric cars a few years ago, I gave up for several reasons.
- No room in our garage on the mainland to charge, and no electrical outlets where we park to go over to our Island home (Dewees)
- No trunk big enough for my golf clubs
- Electricity in South Carolina comes mainly from coal, so I would not be saving the planet.
So, instead of saving the planet, I got patriotic and bought an American car, a small Ford. It hasn’t been a great success, so I am again looking electric, since the field is expanding so rapidly. (I am working on the above constraints). The Chevy Bolt looks good, all electric plug-in (not hybrid), 2017 car of the year, with a range of 240 miles. But dealers in this area don’t know when they can get them.
So, where does my Dad fit into this? He was a country doctor in rural England, and an amateur engineer. During the war we could not get petrol (gasoline), but did have a supply of diesel, because we had to generate our own electricity. Dad promptly converted a regular old car to run off batteries, which we could charge at home. Dad was fond of his many cars, and they all had names. This one was christened “Cowgoose”, heaven knows why. It had maximum range of 20 miles, which was enough to get me to the local school (and back), and to do house calls in the local farms. We chugged around with impressive blue flashes coming up behind the back seat (where I was usually privileged to sit). It was very impressive at night.
The history of electric cars in USA is fascinating, if a little scary. GM made one called GMEV1. It was successful, in California, but was crushed (literally) by alternative providers. You may want to watch a 2006 movie (available on Netflix) called “Who killed the electric car”. Look it up on wikipedia “The film details the California Air Resources Board‘s reversal of the mandate after relentless pressure and suits from automobile manufacturers, continual pressure from the oil industry, orchestrated hype over a future hydrogen car, and finally the George W. Bush administration“.
Times is changing. Happy to take any advice.
And here is “Cowgoose” with Dad, brother John and me (in the flashy back seat).