After driving up the steep and curvy Hwy 17 to Castle Rock state park in my over ten year old honda; I parked excitedly getting out of my car to meet my friend Nick, only to smell the stench of burning oil with a slight stream of white smoke seeping from my engine hood. Suddenly a look of despair that quickly turned to utter annoyance and then almost rage filled the expression on my face that Nick could follow in an instant. I knew something wasn't right with my car, but this was after 2000 grand had been spent the last two years changing the timing belt, and reshaping a near blowout of my head gaskets. I swear this was the last straw, how could intelligent humans who have sent a man to the moon and vanquished Polio still be driving around with virtually the same propulsion system as one hundred years ago!? This is so sad its actually amusing to me. So to get back to my story, I realized my engine was just low on oil from a constant oil leak dripping on hot pipes as I drove up the curvy Hwy 17.
During my the awesome hike that ensued, my friend and I engaged in honest discussion on how he was fed up with his gas burning grease boat as well. During this hike we discussed how lack of fuel efficiency was eating up our wallets and how the next car we purchased would be dramatically different than the cars our families had owned since we were born.
It was here on this hike that I announced the plan for my Honda to be my last internal combustion propelled car. I decided I did not care any more about how new electric car technology was or about the false notion of "range anxiety". I almost never drive more than 100 miles in one day and road trips are only 2-3% of my driving time.
Think about the following imagine and what life would be like if driving was a little different, and very soon could be:
- If every morning when you woke up your car was filled with fuel ready to drive 120 to 300 miles in one day.
- You had no need to stop by gas stations on a weekly basis to fill up with those toxic fumes?
- What if you never needed to change that dirty motor oil again? Or worry about those pesky oil leaks.
- Think about eliminating ever having to worry if your car will pass the biennial smog check, and paying those expensive tune up bills?
- What if your driving experience was unhindered by a noisy engine.
- If when buying your car you went to the local downtown boutique shopping mall and browsed for some new shoes and choose the color and seating material for your new car all in the same afternoon?
- Imagine even further if all your energy bills for your house and car were reduced by leasing solar energy companies to put their solar panels on your roof harvesting all those waisted volts on your shingles.
- What if ...may i even suggest that you got in your car and read the news paper on your ipad as your car drove you too work through the rush hour traffic
- And may i take this further and suggest that there might not even be rush hour traffic in the future thanks to self driving cars that coordinate speeds with a smart grid of vehicles automatically driving everyone to work in harmonious synchrony?
This is what I think about almost daily when I get into my car or stop at the gas station. If i wasnt 26, in grad school, with massive loans I would have already had the Nissan Leaf in my garage. But my plan is to buy the Tesla Model X when it comes out around 2013.
Here are a list of new emerging electric and hybrid car companies, its finally time america voted with its wallet and supported a fundamental change in how we buy cars and the types of vehicles we buy, and WHO we buy them from.
California is a leader in fostering this new wave of next generation automobiles. Maybe California someday will over take Detroit as being home to the auto industry?
Tesla Motors http://www.teslamotors.com/
Coda Automotive http://www.codaautomotive.com/
Fisker Automotive http://www.fiskerautomotive.com/#!/home
Disclosure: I am long tsla