Electric cars: the future is now:

Discussion in 'Other Manufacturers' started by tigerhonaker, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. tigerhonaker

    tigerhonaker Platinum Contributor

    Vol. 15, Ed. 39 September 28 - October 4th 2006 [​IMG]


    Electric cars: the future is now

    I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed Monica Bradbury's article on electric cars (“Meet George Jetson,” September 21). I'm another one who's converting a car to battery power. (It's not done yet.)

    Thanks for taking the time to get it right. I've seen many poorly researched articles, but Bradbury took the time to talk to people and ride in an EV. She gave an accurate picture of the costs and benefits. Basically, she “got it.” Thank you again for an excellent job.

    Doug Weathers
    Las Cruces, New Mexico

    “Meet George Jetson” (September 21) is an excellent article. By happenstance there is a feature on our local PBS station about an electric dragster in our area, The Current Eliminator, that is in the championships for dragsters, an incredible first for electric vehicles. Hopefully you can catch it on the web at kuat.org - it's on “Arizona Illustrated.”

    Thanks for the publicity, we need it. Actually, America needs it.

    Rush Dougherty
    Tucson, Arizona

    Thank you for the informative article (“Meet George Jetson,” September 21). I want to tell you a story: After World War II, my dad went to work for REA (Railway Express), in Manhattan. He says that it was the law that delivery vehicles had to be battery-powered, and they were. From bakeries to diaper delivery vans, he says, just about everyone used electric vans. He was a vehicle mechanic, and had to go out and fix them when they broke down (which was not that often). He says that Railway Express had a fleet of thousands of all-electric vehicles. So, like the man in your story who put a bunch of lead-acid batteries in the bed of a pick-up truck, REA had a huge fleet of non-polluting and non-petroleum-using vehicles, at a time when there was no regenerative braking, no on-board processors, no transistors, and no fancy batteries. Like you said in your article, the technology has been available for a long time.

    Glenn Andersen
    Buena Park, California

    I read with interest your article about the fellow with the converted pickup truck (“Meet George Jetson,” September 21). I've long been a supporter of electric cars, although I always knew that until a practical battery came along, there would never be a practical electric car.

    Kent Beuchert
    Tampa, Florida

    I read Monica Bradbury's article on electric cars with interest (“Meet George Jetson,” September 21). As was noted in the article, electric cars are severely limited in range, while many of the alternatives are extremely expensive to produce.

    I'm an American living in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where most of the new cars sold are equipped with “Total Flex” engines. These cars run on gasoline or alcohol, or any combination of the two fuels. I've owned a VW Gol for about 18 months and usually feed it alcohol, which is significantly cheaper than gasoline. A few months ago, however, we were between sugar cane harvests and the price of alcohol exceeded that of gasoline. So, I just switched to gasoline.

    My car has only one fuel tank and the motor adjusts automatically to whichever fuel it receives. The only tradeoff is that the car develops more horsepower running on alcohol than it does on gasoline, but gasoline delivers better fuel economy. For cold-starting, it has a tiny, one-liter gas tank under the hood. If you're running on alcohol, a small amount of gasoline is injected to get the engine running in the morning.

    Total Flex cars are produced down here by several manufacturers, including GM, Ford, VW, Fiat, and Renault. They cost only slightly more than a similar gasoline-powered model, and most new-car buyers opt for the new system.

    I guess the best part is that these cars are not pie-in-the-sky prototypes that never quite make it into automobile showrooms.

    Neal Greenberg
    Sao Paulo, Brazil


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