Spent yesterday, last night, and this morning down on the Cape with some good friends. It was, as all trips to the Cape are, an excellent time. I also realized that the Cape is surprisingly close to Boston; it's only about a 60 mile drive each way. Why is this significant? Well, other than the fact that it's close enough to go even for just a day trip, it's also well within the range of even the least technologically advanced electric cars. Even an old EV-1 would have no problem with a trip down to the cape, nor would something like Nissan's failed Hypermini with it's 62-mile range (provided you had a charging station down there as well) or Nissan's upcoming new electric subcompact
I think this is a very interesting and important fact. No one, or at least very few people, would deny that an electric car is a good choice for someone who lives in a densely populated city (like Boston) and never drives outside that city. Hybrids help fill this gap by providing not only the eco-friendliness and energy efficiency of an electric car (albeit to a lesser extent) but also the range of an internal-combustion car, thus allowing city dwellers to both feel good about their energy usage and still take weekend drives to their vacation home off in the country somewhere (like Cape Cod). But despite the seeming limitation of a 120 mile range (or 250 in the case of the Tesla Roadster
), it's really not all that limiting. An electric car has more than enough range for someone in Boston to drive around the city all week with no problemâ€”very few people are going to drive more than 250 miles during their work dayâ€”and it also has plenty of range to take them down to the Cape on the weekend and back with a little bit of driving around while they're down there (or lots of driving if they happen to have a charging station at their Cape house as well, and who wouldn't really).
So really, it would seem that electric cars are the perfect fit for the modern citizens of Boston. Yes, there are some people for whom an electric car just wouldn't make sense, but I imagine that the vast majority of Bostonites would do just fine in one. And, I think that Boston is enough of a liberal, forward-thinking, socially-aware city that electric cars would really catch on here. Now if only Tesla Motors
would add Boston to the list of cities where they'll be available next year...
In other news, I went to reserve a Zipcar
for tomorrow morning for a job I'll be doing. As usual, I checked on the status of the Rav-4 EV near me only to find that it's no longer even listed! Hopefully it's just out for repairs and the problems it's had in the past
haven't rendered it completely dead. I've still never even had the chance to drive it. Even if it is dead forever, I really do hope that Zipcar will be expanding their EV fleet in the future. That they have EVs at all is one of the things that I really like about the company, and I still intend to do everything I can to encourage their continued usage.