Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gas or Electric?

by Lorna Barrett / Lorraine Bartlett / L.L. Bartlett

Electric_car_10954 There's been a lot of talk about electric cars.  In theory, these things are great.  I'm all for seeing our country less dependent on foreign oil.  It's dirty and it's expensive.  But do I want an electric car?

First off, they're not exactly attractive.  Take this little beauty for instance.  Only it's just NOT beautiful.  In fact, it reminds me of a tuna can. Okay, I drive a minivan, and they aren't known for being a sexy car, either, but I bought it for utility.  I haul around a lot of stuff--furniture, etc.  I need something that can handle more than two bags of groceries at a time.

Would I feel comfortable driving that little tuna can on wheels around town?  I think not.  And not just because it's funny looking, but it's TINY.  Can you imagine getting hit by an SUV (or a dump truck) while driving that car?  (Can you say "squashed like a bug?")  I'm not sure I'd want a hybrid for the same reason.  They're small.  (Hey, I've been in an accident in a small car.  I didn't sustain any injuries, but the car was so messed up it was on life support.)

Coal_fired_power_plant And then there's the whole issue of fuel.  Sure, it sounds good to just plug in your car and then take off, but think about where that power comes from.  A lot of electric plants are fueled by coal.  Even if you've got a nuclear power plant nearby, are you really comfortable thinking about what can happen?  Might I mention the Fukushima plant in Japan.  Oh sure, we're not planning a tsunami on the shores of Lake Ontario any time soon, but the Fukushima plant isn't the only one built on an active fault line.

Deloreon But I do like the idea of an electric car.  One that runs on solar power.  Or maybe the DeLorean from Back to the Future that (eventually) runs on banana peels and old coffee grounds.  Now that's a fuel source I could get behind.

Meanwhile, I guess I'm stuck with my minivan.

Is there an electric car in your future?