I received a rude awakening this evening and I lost a bet too. After supper, I mounted my trusty Gold Rush recumbent bicycle and gave my legs some punishment. Since I haven’t ridden seriously in several years I am limiting my rides to five or ten miles. This evening I rode to the library and from there into town. The total distance logged was 4.5 miles. I would have ridden further except for an unusual sighting. As I passed the Grainery building on the Old Plank Trail I spied an unusually beautiful sports car. I passed by a few feet when the old “what’s wrong with this picture” mechanism went off in my head. I stopped to go back and take pictures. What was wrong? The car was plugged in to an outlet. The Village of Frankfort decided to be the first village with a public charging space for all-electric cars. That’s how I lost the bet. When I first learned of the Village decision to install the charging station, I bet a friend that it would never be used, and our tax dollars wasted.
I parked the bike and started snapping pictures with my smart phone. Then I heard someone call my name. I looked up to see an old Folks on Spokes friend whom I haven’t seen in eight years. We stood admiring the car. Bernie is a Science teacher and is very pro green movement. He lectured me on how this car is the future of our country. I lectured back to him that it will be at least another hundred years before the electric car is practical enough to want one. He argued back about the new product curve. Yes, new products follow a cost vs volume curve that is very flat when a product is introduced, but as sales continue, the volume curve begins to slope up, the price begins coming down and the curve gets steeper. Eventually, we all have one of the products and they are so cheap no one can afford to make them except in third world countries where labor goes for eighteen cents an hour. As we argued the merits pro and con for the electrics a man walked up and unplugged the car.
“Are you the owner,” I asked him.
“Yes I am,” he announced proudly.
“You can thank me now,” I replied.
“Because my tax dollars went toward building your Finnish car.”
“Oh, they didn’t go toward this one, they are going into a new model that hasn’t been built yet.”
The discussion went on for another fifteen minutes. I learned the car can get this guy all the way to the Sears Tower in Chicago (35 miles) where he works, but he needs a charge to get home(the total all-electric range is fifty miles) . If he runs out of juice a small gas-powered engine turns on and runs a generator to charge the batteries.
“How much does it weigh?” I asked.
“Fifty-five hundred pounds. It really rides nice and solid.”
Just before he got in to pull away he offered that I am getting hit twice, because Frankfort uses an honor system to collect for the electricity he used to charge.
The charging station has pictures of all the major credit cards on it, but no collection slot to swipe the card.
“I have an APP for that,”
He just made me want to run right out and buy one of these suckers. My friend Bernie will probably do it.
“There is probably an MP3 player feeding a V8 rumble noise to bystanders,” I said.
“Naw,” said Bernie, “they make a whirring sound.”
The Fisker whirred out of the lot and into the night. I wonder if he will make it home now that he has to use headlights?
- Energy Secretary Chu Has A Brilliant Idea: Electric Cars In A Country Where There’s No Electricity! (notrickszone.com)
- Is the WWF Telling the Truth About Electric Cars? (nofrakkingconsensus.com)
- Electric Fueling Stations Quickly Spreading (carlotsusa.com)
- Chargeing station (kevingriffiths.wordpress.com)