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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks

I'm after your stories about what it is like to own and use an electric car on a long term regular basis, to become part of my new book on electric cars to be launched in early 2011.

I've been using electric cars for five years now and the aim of the new book is to promote electric car ownership and encourage people to try them out for themselves.

However, I'm also aware that electric cars are not for everyone. So I'd like to collate some owner's testimonials about the electric cars or NEVs they've got - and I'd like to hear the disaster stories as well as the good ones.

What I am looking for is a testimonial of around 250-800 words in length. You can either write it as a short article, or if you prefer, as a simple questions and answers session answering the following questions:
  • Name:
  • State:
  • Make and model of electric car:
  • Tell me a little bit about yourself:
  • How long have you owned your electric car?
  • What made you decide to buy an electric car?
  • What do you use your electric vehicle for?
  • How often do you use your electric car?
  • What do you enjoy most about being able to drive an electric car?
  • What do you most dislike about driving an electric car?
  • Has your electric car ever let you down?
  • How far do you drive your car on an average day?
  • What reaction have you had from friends and neighbors about your electric car?
  • Would you buy another electric car in the future and, if so, what would you be looking for in your new car that you don't have in your present one?
I can't promise fame and fortune beyond your wildest dreams, but for every response that I use, I will send a $25 Amazon gift voucher, plus a copy of the new book when it is launched.

You can respond to me by either posting to this thread, or if you prefer, via private message.

Thanks in advance.

Mike
 

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Hi folks

I'm after your stories about what it is like to own and use an electric car on a long term regular basis, to become part of my new book on electric cars to be launched in early 2011.

I've been using electric cars for five years now and the aim of the new book is to promote electric car ownership and encourage people to try them out for themselves.

However, I'm also aware that electric cars are not for everyone. So I'd like to collate some owner's testimonials about the electric cars or NEVs they've got - and I'd like to hear the disaster stories as well as the good ones.




What I am looking for is a testimonial of around 250-800 words in length. You can either write it as a short article, or if you prefer, as a simple questions and answers session answering the following questions:
  • Name:
  • State:
  • Make and model of electric car:
  • Tell me a little bit about yourself:
  • How long have you owned your electric car?
  • What made you decide to buy an electric car?
  • What do you use your electric vehicle for?
  • How often do you use your electric car?
  • What do you enjoy most about being able to drive an electric car?
  • What do you most dislike about driving an electric car?
  • Has your electric car ever let you down?
  • How far do you drive your car on an average day?
  • What reaction have you had from friends and neighbors about your electric car?
  • Would you buy another electric car in the future and, if so, what would you be looking for in your new car that you don't have in your present one?
I can't promise fame and fortune beyond your wildest dreams, but for every response that I use, I will send a $25 Amazon gift voucher, plus a copy of the new book when it is launched.

You can respond to me by either posting to this thread, or if you prefer, via private message.

Thanks in advance.

Mike
Hi Mike,

I didn't buy an electric car and probably never will at the rate things are going - I had to build one instead. I won't touch a low speed EV with a 10 foot pole and high speed EVs are simply too expensive.

In BC, canada, motor vehicle rules are nice an lax when it comes to modifying a car so converting an existing one was an easy choice. The donor vehicle is a 1996 saturn SL1, which is a relatively lightweight 4 door family sedan. As electric it does not meet the original specs of the car in terms of speed or power, but it can sustain 60 MPH which is enough for my needs. Range has been tested up to 83 miles at 55 MPH, and the ultimate goal is 100 miles per charge at that speed.

So far the car has been insured for only about 6 months so its not the longest time compared to what others are running. However since insuring it and fixing some early problems, the car has been extremely reliable and easy to operate. You simply turn it on, and drive.

My reasons for looking at electric were many. The main reason was cost of operation. At roughly $4 per full recharge, it has an operating cost that simply cannot be matched by any other method of 4 wheeled transportation. Being simple, it is also much more reliable with far fewer things to go wrong as the vehicle ages. Calculating net efficiency of internal combustion and comparing that to electric is often an eye opener, yet very few people seem aware that ICE powered cars are generally 20% efficient, while electric cars can easily pass 80 or 90%. The environment is one reason, but its not a very high priority on my list simply because the cost of this project is too hight to justify for that reason alone, at least, thats how I felt, and still do to this day.

So with all of those reasons buzzing around in my head, I stumbled over a film in the video store about 4 years ago; Who Killed the Electric Car?
Most of what was in the film was old news to me, but having it all summed up in less than 2 hours was the catalyst that made me take the risk to try and prove my own ideas about electric cars. I generally don't take some one else's argument as gospel no matter how well backed they may be. As a stubborn skeptic, my only real option was to take action my self and see if electric cars can really be the practical means of transportation that many - myself included -genuinely want them to be. So far, the answer seems to be - YES!

The car is often used several times a week depending on my schedule and with a battery so large, recharging often isn't needed until the weekend. The most satisfying part of driving this car is knowing that you are involved in something that few people have experienced. I've offered rides to people that are well into their 60s in some cases who tell me they have never even been in an electric car before. So far the reaction has all been very positive. The sound is also a very different experience, and the dead silence when coming to a stop jumps out at you right away since electric motors do not idle. Also, since they do not need to idle in standby mode, they cannot be stalled like a regular engine and shifting a manual gearbox is very easy in a car like this.

It's not completely silent, but the sound that it does make always lets you know that something very special is happening under the bonnet when accelerating away from a dead silent stop. Keep in mind I am also a diesel head, so this car does not have what I call a boring sound to it.

What I don't like about the car is the lack of power, but since I built the car, I can modify it and make things better as time goes on. For now, its a very capable vehicle that meets my needs. There were problems early on with some of the electrical components - the motor controller caught fire due to a factory defect. That have been repaired and no issues can be reported since then.

If I were to look for an electric car to buy brand new, it would have to be highway capable, have a minimum range of 100 miles, and minimum of 4 seat capacity plus some cargo. Provided its not a completely ugly vehicle and I can afford it, I would consider buying it brand new or at least a lightly used one. But keep in mind, I have never purchased a brand new vehicle in my life, so that would be a big leap for me in itself.

David D.




Hows that? I'll pass on the gift card if you use this, but I will take you up on that book:D

Let me know if I should change anything.....

































..............and welcome to the forum:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That is absolutely spot on - exactly the sort of thing I was after. Thanks very much - I'll definitely like to use that one.
 

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Well, I guess that could qualify as a disaster story.:(

I've seen other examples of crashes involving low speed vehicles on public roads and it usually isn't a pretty sight. Very sad indeed.

In gated communities, parks or golf courses I think there is a role for them, but short of that I can't advocate their continued coexistance with highway capable vehicles on crowded public streets.

I don't know the specifics of this crash and I have seen examples of highway capable vehicles torn in half, but those were due to excessive speed and often involved street racing.

It will be interesting to find out what the collision speed was here. Depressing, but still needs to be considered.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OT:

Mike, any repercussions from that woman scientist getting killed in that recent, London G-Whiz accident? Real sad!

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1323012/Top-scientist-killed-G-Wiz-electric-car-horror-smash.html

Yes, it is very shocking and sad when this sort of event occurs. The accident happened at a known black spot and - possibly quite surprisingly - the husband has actually come out and publicly defended the G-Wiz and asking the authorities to look at the road layout as a matter of urgency.

There are as many variants of the story of what actually happened as there are journalists who reported on it. As a result, finding out exactly what happened is not easy - some journalists reported that the car crashed into a wall, others say that it hit another car. I'm waiting for the official report into what happened and as yet the authorities are keeping quiet until the investigation is completed.

The car involved in the accident is the early model G-Wiz. This was replaced in 2007 with the G-Wiz i, which looked very similar to the old model, but with an entirely redesigned chassis with new crash structure designed by Lotus, plus new braking system. The G-Wiz i was crash tested by ARIA and was a significant improvement on the old car.

Over the past thirty years or so, crash testing and safety standards have slowly improved through legislation, with the regulations improving minimum standards little by little over that time. Quadricycles and NEVs have always been exempt from these safety tests. My personal belief is that it is time for the same process to be started for Quadricycles in Europe and NEVs in the US so that safety can be gradually improved over the next few years.

Anyway, back to the topic - is anyone else able to share their story?
 
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