Friday, November 18, 2011

Losing my gasoline virginity

There comes a time in every Volt's life when it takes that irrevocable step and takes up the filthy habit of smoking... er, using gasoline. And after over 1000 miles of tooling around town on pure electric power, the Ampeater set out on an epic journey from North Carolina to Cape Kennedy.

At least this sacrifice was for a good cause. I was able to get a ticket to ride on a Zero-G Experimental Flight, and the Volt was just the right size to fit all of the equipment I had built to take high-speed videos of water globe interactions in microgravity.

Goodbye, Infinite Miles Per Gallon! Sob!

On the bright side, the Volt was an extremely comfortable long-distance touring car, and quite frankly, the only time I even heard the gas engine in operation was when I did some really hard acceleration on an I-95 onramp; it kicked up to max RPM. Cruising at 70mph I got about 37MPG on gasoline.

A welcome surprise was that the Holiday Inn in Titusville, FL was extremely EV-friendly. Not only did they have no problem with me plugging in the Ampeater, but the manager showed me the best place to do so. He also noted that they are thinking of putting 120VAC outlets on many of the light poles in the parking lot, not just for EV's like the Volt, but also so that boaters can recharge their batteries.

Seems to me he's got a good idea there, and that if a chain like Holiday Inn made it a policy to have some simple outlets installed (one pole could handle 8 cars!) in all of their locations, that would be an amenity that would attract business. I remember a few years back that when driving I would always stay at a Holiday Inn Express when possible, because I knew that they would have free WiFi. If I knew they would all have free recharging, it would be similarly attractive.

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