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Yes, John, perhaps you should start writing a regular weekly column.
I enjoyed reading about your encounters with the Ford F-350 Power
Stroke Diesel and the horse drawn buggies.
But I must question a point in this week's column.
You told a woman that her horse drawn buggy caused less pollution than
your electric car. That certainly isn't so! As a farm boy, I stepped in a
lot of horse**** and cleaned barns and stables. Horse "emissions"
are in my opinion worse than than those of infernal combustion
engines. In 1900 it took a crew of about 15000 to clean the streets
every night in New York City. Urine accumulated during dry
weather and after a rain the streets were so slippery that horses and
people couldn't stand. Unpaved streets were covered with a mixture of
about equal portions of mud, manure and urine. Women wore high top
shoes and long petticoats
to protect their feet and legs and long skirts to hide their filthy shoes
and pettticoats. Most families who had a horse also had a stable and
a manure pile to attract flies and the stink and diseases that flies
spread. It's ironic that when ICE cars first were available, cleanliness
was a widely touted selling point.
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Wayland" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 3:38 AM
Subject: Responding to EV Naysayers...More Blue Meanie Tales
> Hello to All,
> You know, I'm going to have to start writing a regular weekly column 'The
> Blue Meanie'! I swear, this car is like a 'fun and interesting
experience' magnet! I had
> taken a short morning trip in my beloved electric car, then came home and
read Tom Shay's
> post and started to write my thoughts on this 'Responding to EV
Naysayers' thing. I
> wanted to respond to his post with the memory of what had just happened
still fresh in my
> mind, however, I got interrupted and so didn't finish writing until now,
much later in the
> day. Having just now returned from yet another fun experience with the
> while at the downtown EV charging station, the scene of other recent Blue
> encounters (Fast charge "gas" stations, Blue Meanie, & Portland Cops!),
I've decided to
> combine the two episodes together.....
> Thomas Shay wrote:
> > Don't worry about the naysayers. You can't make them into
> > fans of electric vehicles no matter what say or do. Invest
> > your time and patience with people willing and interested in
> > learning about EVs.
> > Tom Shay
> Though Tom's basic premise is correct, I'm not in total agreement with him
on this. I
> have, on too many occasions to list, completely turned around bone head
types, to where
> they actually think EVs are cool and a good idea... I may have done it
again just today!
> I do it, with an EV that breaks their stereotyped view of what 'they' see
EVs as being
> slow, dull, and boring rolling science projects only for the timid tree
> Episode one.....
> I was out in Blue Meanie this morning and had just washed it, so the car
was glimmering in
> the crisp Fall sunlight with beads of water jiggling atop the lustrous
paint job. I had
> been noticing that coming up from behind me was a humongous Moby Dick
> machine, a Ford pickup of huge proportions. The all white gargantuan Ford
> monster sized platform that the piggy Excursion SUV is based on, was
decked out with a
> full canopy, huge rims and tires, and a rude sounding, thrashing
> engine...we're talking the complete opposite of my small sized, kind to
> electrified Datsun! About the only positive thing I could get from his
rig, was that it
> too, looked as though it had just been washed and detailed.
> I could see that he was checking out my car, probably because he was
appreciating that it
> was in immaculate condition, something the two of us seemed to have in
common. I slowed
> for a light that had gone to yellow and was driving very calmly, making a
> slow-down. I could see him looking down from his macho perch at the
'VOLTS' plate, then
> saw his eyes dart left at the Mike Chancey 'ELECTRIC' emblem on the trunk
> clear to me that he had figured out the car was electric. At the red
light, I lost visual
> contact with his face and could only see the huge expansive grill of the
> looming high off the ground behind me, now with the over-driven distorted
sound of his
> obviously factory Ford 'high end' sound system (cranked way up) mixed in
> offensive diesel clatter and racket. I was reminded of that Subaru
commercial where the
> happy couple in their Outback wagon has come upon a few graceful deer in
the woods and are
> admiring their beauty, when it is all ruined by some obnoxious dude who
comes roaring up
> in his V8 powered huge SUV, and after his noise, dust, dirt, and
aggressive arrival has
> scared off the dear, he asks, "What are you looking at?"
> The road was an east-bound one way four lane affair at this point, the far
left one a left
> turn lane only, the lane next to it was going straight ahead, the third
lane, my lane, was
> also going straight ahead, and the fourth lane to my right was a run-out
lane that flanked
> a shopping mall and branched right a couple blocks ahead onto another
street. The lane to
> my left had lots of cars in it, and I was at the head of my lane with
macho man behind me.
> The lane to my right was wide open though, and he had determined that my
> ee-lek-trik car was surely going to hold him and his mighty 'Rig De Ville'
up, and as I
> was surmising this, he confirmed it with a sudden lane change that nearly
caught my car's
> right rear corner as he pulled alongside to my right...his sound system
and engine clatter
> even more obnoxious....time to begin the EV lesson of the day!
> The first thing I did, was to lower the right window lift, and dial up the
> powerful sound system with some funky 'Tower of Power'...I cranked it up
> levels, but unlike his LO-FI setup, mine remained crystal clear with the
MB Quarts singing
> and the four eights in back pumping out copious amounts of beefy bass
> Chester's flying feet on the Hammond B3's bass pedals. Ford-man
immediately looked over
> and down at my car, seemingly stunned that my little eco-car had such a
> system....'electric cars can't have a powerful sound system' myth, soundly
> As I glanced over, the large 'Power Stroke' badging against a wall of
> proclaimed the diesel's might...good thing I had on my green flamed
Oakleys! I placed
> Meanie's 4 speed tranny in 2nd gear, ready to slam open the throttle
solenoid, but I had
> decided I'd let him make the first move, after all, there was the 'slight'
> that I could have made an error in my 'profiling'...perhaps he was merely
going to move
> ahead and take a right turn into the mall parking lot....nah, I'm rarely
wrong about these
> macho man types! Besides, I have recently installed a fresh set of Optimas
(the old pack
> was still giving 15 miles range after 5 years of hard-accelerating
service), and combined
> with the 'It Vil not Schlip' clutch and that bodacious DCP 1200 amp
controller, my little
> 2340 lb. EV has what feels like a 0-60 time in the low 6 second region.
Sure enough, when
> the light turned green, the nose of the white whale lifted, the engine
roared and rattled,
> and he was 'a go'n fur it!' In an instant, my Rebock was buried and the
> squealing as Meanie laid about 40 feet of second gear rubber, launching
the car swiftly
> and hurtling it instantly ahead of Moby Dick with wisps of white tire
smoke peeling out of
> the right rear fender well. I flew past him, banging 3rd gear as the rear
squatted and the
> tires barked...he just had to be stunned again...'electric cars are slow
and wimpy' myth,
> soundly debunked! Sure enough, he never had intended to turn right, he
only wanted to get
> in front of me. With his now flaccid ego, he pulled in behind me, maybe 10
car lengths in
> pursuit...what fun!
> Not wanting to get nabbed by any lurking cops, I lit up the brake lights,
slowed down, and
> cruised along at a pinch above the 35 mph speed limit. Again, I could see
his face in my
> mirror, and his expression was priceless! We made it up to the next major
> where he pulled alongside me to my left and his passenger window went
down...so did mine.
> As he slid over and leaned out the window, I was expecting either a red
face and a gun
> barrel, or hopefully, something a bit less dramatic. He seemed OK but
still a bit glazed
> over as he asked:
> "Is that 'really' an electric car?"
> Plasma Boy..."Yeah, it is."
> Macho man..."You smoked 'em! Man, it flies!"
> Plasma Boy..."Yeah, I've probably got more torque on board than your
> Macho man..."Wow, I had no idea they could move like that!"
> And with that, the light changed, and we went our separate ways.
Sometimes, actions speak
> louder than words, and though many may be disgusted with my teenage
antics, there is no
> doubt in my mind, that this was a very potent way to respond to an EV
> Episode two.....
> It was 4:00 when my wife came out to visit me in our backyard EV
shop...she always knows
> where to find me. I had just vacuumed and cleaned Blue Meanie as I had the
car on a 1 amp
> equalization charge. She reminded me that 'coffee girl' needed to be
picked up up at
> around 4:30, and perhaps I might want to leave now so that I could be
there a bit early
> and recharge at the EV Charging Station. It's so cool to have an EV savvy
> I left for the downtown run, and after already having my testosterone
EVent earlier with
> the dude in big Ford pickup, this run was to be a 'see how little ahrs you
can use, to
> make the gradual downhill 9 drive miles to the Starbucks block.' This is a
fun freeway run
> where Blue Meanie's 156V (nominal) system only draws 45 amps or so to
cruise along at 60
> mph while the pack stays at 162V or so...figuring losses, that's only
about 7 horsepower!
> It usually takes about 8.6 - 9 ahrs from the pack. The run to downtown was
> none of the more typical 'spirited' driving I often fall into, and when I
rolled into the
> charging spot, the car had used just 8.4 ahrs! I guess I'll raise the bar
and see if I can
> make the run sometime at 8 ahrs on the nose.
> I popped the trunk, pulled out the 240V charging cord, opened the fuel
filler door and
> twised-in the L6-30, plugged in the NEMA 14-50 to the charge stand, and
twisted the power
> selector knob to hear that familiar 'clunk' as the stand's contactor
engaged. As I was
> about to hit the remote door locks and walk around the corner to let my
daughter know I
> was there, I heard some other odd
sounds....clip-clop-clip-clop-clip-clop...man, was the
> contactor freaking out? Nope...it was one of Portland's many horse drawn
> past me with a tourist couple bundled up to enjoy a brisk cool Fall late
afternoon tour of
> downtown. The area is quite pretty, with modern glass skywalks, tall
> trees, neon signs, and a view of Tom McCall Park's fountain and the
> ahead. I was next treated to an entertaining experience (it always happens
when I'm with
> Blue Meanie) as I listened in to the driver of the carriage as she was
giving her tour
> with a zeal that was refreshing...
> "We're in the waterfront district, and ahead you can see Tom McCall Park
> Willamette River, the east-west boundary of Portland...and on your left is
> Portland's electric car charging stations, and this nice young man here
charging his car!"
> Whoa, here I am with my 51 year old frame and my salt and pepper beard
(mostly salt these
> days), and she's calling me a nice 'young' man? Hmm, I like her! I was
thrilled that she
> had segued into the electric car thing, so I of course, being the ham I
am, I got into the
> "Yeah....you're the only vehicle down here that is less polluting than my
> What followed had me, literally speechless and laughing as she rolled on
> "Yeah, I get great 'grass' mileage!"
> ....and as she rounded the corner and looked back at me, she taunted,
"Say, how many miles
> to the bale of hay do you get?"
> It's not often I get one-upped, but she nailed me!
> Next up, again as I attempted to leave, here came another horse-drawn
carriage, this one
> with four tourists aboard. As they approached, the driver said, "Nice
> right?" He was evidently knowledgeable about cars, as many today don't
even know what kind
> of car Blue Meanie is. He stopped and the passengers wanted to know a few
things about my
> car, and so there was a brief conversation before they clip-clopped off
into the darkening
> late afternoon.
> Right behind them, came a third one horsepower vehicle, and again, the
> fascinated with my electric car....what fun! As they clogged away, I made
> around the corner and through the locked glass Starbucks doors, let my
daughter know I was
> there and that I'd be around the corner for her. I went back to pre-warm
the car when I
> was approached by a young security guard who 'really' wanted to see the
car. I spent the
> next five minutes with the hood up and a small crowing crowd of
onlookers...what fun! My
> daughter came up, and asked, "You got the electric heater going?"
> The way back home was a current sucking affair, as it is all slightly
uphill, and, the
> famous Columbia Gorge east winds had kicked up, so we were fighting a 30
mph head wind.
> The traffic was humping along at 70-ish, so I stayed with the flow.
> temperature was dropping like a rock, so we kept the heater blasting.
Compared to my solo
> 45 amp current draw on the way downtown, with a two passenger load at
> speeds, we now pulling 125-160 amps, with it only dropping occasionally to
75 amps or
> so...no problems of course, but just an interesting comparison. Under less
> conditions and by myself at 60 mph or so, the car usually pulls 60-75 amps
all the way
> When we rolled into the EV shop driveway, the return trip had used 19.8
ahrs, but the pack
> was still showing strong voltage at around 158 volts with the lights on
and the heater
> still pulling juice. I plugged in the car, and in the time I took to
unload a few things
> from the trunk and do a few shop item put-aways, the strong PFC20 had
already put back 5
> Later in the evening, the fully charged Meanie was taken out for various
> Having more EV fun than should be legal.....
> See Ya....John Wayland
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