For the last year, not having a full-time job has meant that I don’t drive much — which, of course, is good; but when I do need to run around a bit to the post office or bank or library, I hop into the Prius and go. Unfortunately, those short trips are really bad in the Prius — or at least, relatively so.
For the last few months, I’ve been averaging 34 miles per gallon in the Prius, a respectable figure relative to most cars, but pretty bad for a car that is supposed to achieve up to 60 (which, of course, it rarely does).
So, I’ve been looking for some kind of electric vehicle to run around the neighborhood with. It’s been much tougher than I expected, especially here in supposedly “green” California.
Finally, I discovered Electric Motorsport in Oakland, run by the über cool Todd Kollin. Turns out that he is an artist and filmmaker in addition to knowing far too much about electric bikes, scooters, and motorcycles. His film combining a squirrel and ubiquitous product placement had me laughing out loud while my credit card balance shot up.
Yes, I bought an electric scooter — no, not the kind that they sell on those commercials during The Golden Girls, it’s the Vespa kind. Called the Oxygen E (Lepton), it has a range of about 30 miles, and runs up to about 30mph. It charges for pennies and puts out no emissions — although, of course, the generation of electricity is polluting somewhere upstream.
Well, when that perfect job comes along, I’ll get the solar panels installed, and that will boost my green cred.
I always wanted to get an electric vehicle, and now that I have a garage (with power, obviously) I can charge ‘er up! I can go downtown without having to hunt everywhere for a parking space… I can zip over to the library or the bank without using gas, and if I get a “trunk” for it, I can even go do a little shopping, all on battery power. Even more incentive for finding a job within downtown San Jose, eh?
This is my response to the pitiful, transparent, and downright ridiculous sop from Bill Frist today, who wants to give $100 checks to every tax payer as a way to ease the gas price crunch. He says that the government will roll back some of the huge tax breaks they gave big oil companies to pay for his plan; why the government doesn’t just send those checks directly to Exxon is beyond me, it would save a lot of money in postage and printing.
A lot of politicians are coming up with plans: a $100 check, stopping deposits to the strategic oil reserve (duh, this is exactly why we need to KEEP making deposits, for the coming crisis), suspending taxes on gas… but none of the Republican idea men think that we should require higher mileage cars or stop giving huge tax incentives for Hummer purchases.
I swear, sometimes I feel like I am living in some bizarro world or a secret social experiment by otherworldly beings.