Thursday, June 5, 2008

Electric Vehicle?

For over a year now I've had my heart set on getting a Saturn Outlook. I know that wouldn't be a dream car for... well... ANY of the rest of the world but I have four kids. That basically means if they ever want to have a friend over (and of course they ALL want to have friends over at the same time) I need a vehicle with plenty of seats. The Outlook seats 8 - and comfortably too. Even a six foot tall 260 lb man can sit in the third row seat and be comfortable and it's not like some kind of contortionist trick to get back there. (don't ask me how I know this or I'll have to tell you) Then there is the fact that the Outlook gets something like 27 miles per gallon (hwy). I had picked out the car and planned that when I went back to work when the house was built I'd buy it. Well the house has taken a lot longer to get started than I thought it would at the time... and you know a few other things came up that turned life upside down too. In any event I'm now starting to contemplate what kind of car to buy when I am finally ready. My plan is to get a real job (soon I hope), pay off all of my debts (which once I'm making a little money won't take long at all), save a little for furniture at the new house and then buy a car.

All that sounds great right... except that now, with gas creeping ever closer to $5 a gallon and my guess that it will probably go a LOT higher, I'm thinking 27 miles a gallon isn't nearly enough. So I start doing what I do best. I start digging around online. I find this company that manufactures fully electric vehicles in the US that isn't just some prototype for politicians. I mean they actually make them and sell them right now. The even crazier thing is that they aren't expensive. They sell a minivan style vehicle that looks a little like the boxy Volkswagen van and it's retail price is under $20,000! Are you kidding? My car payment would be less than the cost of a month worth of gas!
There are drawbacks - like the fact that this particular vehicle can go only around 70 miles on a charge... but honestly I VERY rarely go farther than that anyway. I can always recharge at my destination because it uses a standard plug. If I need to I can keep the car I currently have for those random long trips anyway. Here's what I think may be the coolest part. We are going to have solar electricity at my new house. Which means that there would be exactly ZERO cost for fuel. I think that sounds great! Today I requested more information about the cars from the company that makes them.
Now if I could just get a job so that looking at cars to begin with doesn't seem so... cart before the horse!

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