08 August 2009

Qualitative Comments

I have to digress from the theme of this blog and move from the quantitative to the qualitative.

The reason this car is such a wonderful ride is the gestalt of less noise, less vibration, less smell, less heat, and less guilt about the fuel source.  Being someone who occasionally falls into the trap of 'road rage', I can testify that driving this electric car has a salutary effect that mollifies the tendency towards aggression and makes it easy to take one's time.

I do not expect those that have to drive in NYC or LA to experience this effect, with the over riding pressure of those environments.  But combined with the opportunity to drive on county roads with low traffic, this car has convinced me that I am never going back to piston power if I can avoid it.  Do not misunderstand, I loved driving on biodiesel for years and in the short term it might even be better environmentally than the nuclear based electric power here in New Jersey.  But it does not have the multidimensional luxury of electric power.  And of course electric power can move to solar and wind, I just don't have those options immediately.  Soon maybe.

I have heard that when the first flush toilet was installed in the White House, it was a novelty.  Most people had outhouses, which got the job done but they were uncomfortable, stinky, not so healthy and not so good for the environment.

Today, electric cars are a novelty.  Piston cars cars get the job done but they are uncomfortable, stinky, not so healthy and not so good for the environment nor for geopolitical stability.

OK, to take the metaphor to the limit, I would be in a hurry if I were still driving around in the automotive equivalent of an outhouse.  But I'm not.  I'm driving a Mini E.  And I love it.  I admit that in the best of all possible worlds we would not need cars.  At the moment I do need a car, and I'll take the metaphorical equivalent of a flush toilet over an outhouse, even if it is more expensive.

My wife was skeptical about this car at first, mostly due to the cost.  But she realized that with my ridiculously long commute, there was value in reducing my driving stress.  She is hooked now too.  Though my wife NEVER liked to drive, now she grabs the key fob and heads for the driver's door of the Mini E, while I follow to the passenger's door.  And she has started to complain about her car.

The second time we came home from church in the Mini E, my wife said "When the lease runs out on this car, it is going to be very sad".  I knew she was hooked.

I have to get a windows sticker made, saying "Pistons?  We don't need no stinking pistons!"

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