Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I Want This for My Next Car

Back in the day, I wanted a 1968 Camaro. Best looking car ever.

But now I'm middle-aged and balding. I still want to drive a '68 Camaro, but middle-aged, balding men cannot drive a convertible like that one without looking like somebody in the throes of a midlife crisis. Guys like me driving sports car convertibles might as well don gold chains and polyester shirts - they are the lounge lizards of the road. (I feel okay driving my wife's Beetle convertible, because that just makes me look like a good-humored gay man, which doesn't really bother me.)

So, now that my opportunity to look cool in a Camaro ragtop has swirled down time's relentless drain, this is what I want. The BG C100 has received Department of Transportation approval to begin distribution of an all-electric car that can drive at 35=45 miles per hour, and has a range of 60-120 miles. Unlike the much-ballyhooed Chevy Volt, this one will cost under $18,000 and will come "fully loaded with features such as air-conditioning, AM/FM stereo and CD player, front-wheel drive, power steering, power brakes and an onboard charger with a 30-foot cord that the consumer can plug into a standard 110V or 220V outlet. Additionally, each car has a free in-dash 8G i-Phone (an upgrade to 16G is available) for music, navigation and hands free telephone capabilities."

Seriously, my commute is under 5 miles, all on city streets. 98% of my driving is on city streets, with a maximum speed under the 45 mph top speed of this thing. Ideally, my '96 Volvo will last another couple years before a catastrophic breakdown, and I'll be able to pick up something similar to the C100 in the appliance department of Costco.

It may not be quite the same thrill as squealing tires in a muscle car, but it will have to do.



Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

That sounds good. But dig a little deeper. You drive the car home and plug it in to charge it. So now instead of your vehicle being powered by oil, it's powered by coal. The coal that is burned to generate the electricity to charge the car.

And instead of paying $4 a gallon for gas, you have a monthly electric bill of $700.00.

Sorry to be a buzz killer.

2/03/2009 8:49 AM  
Blogger les said...

Without trying to figure out the $700 electric bill number, your comment makes some sense. However, it is most likely that clean/green technology will happen first at the electric grid/generation level--more money available, bigger bang for the buck, more visible and thus more pressure. So the switch makes sense overall, and price pressure will mount at the individual use level--gas in particular. I suspect those economics will flip not too far down the road, so to speak.

2/03/2009 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dig a little deeper, huh? Electricity to charge the car costs less than a quarter a week.

Environmentally, even burning coal for electricity is far better than burning gasoline in an internal combustion engine. Plus, electricity has the greatest likelihood of developing as the delivery mechanism of renewable fuels.

Go ahead and get your electric car, Dan. You weren't going to be picking up any chicks, anyhow, Camaro or not.

2/03/2009 8:59 AM  
Blogger Hyperblogal said...

I highly recommend the Toyota Yaris. I drive one.... get 36-38 in the city and 44 on the highway. It's gasoline... but no charging worries... you can drive it on the Interstate should you need to and no need to replace batteries.... ever. Also, base price, $11,600.

2/03/2009 11:29 AM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

A quarter a week to power an electric car?

I don't have any more confidence in that number than I do my own $700 figure.

2/03/2009 11:52 AM  
Blogger les said...

I confidently predict that the electric car cost lies somewhere between XO and the anonymouse. Yes, I believe in bold stands--why do you ask?

2/03/2009 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

XO is way off. Electricity costs would be under 4 cents per mile.


Plus electricity generated from coal, is still cleaner than burning gasoline.

The NRDC calculus shows that a plug-in charged from a power plant burning the dirtiest type of coal still has an overall pollution level less than a conventional gasoline

Google is your friend.

2/03/2009 5:13 PM  
Blogger Phil Cardarella said...

First off, the shirts are rayon or silk, Dan.

Second, it's OK if you are sharing your little convertible with a teen-age son. (Sharing is easy. He won't actually be going out until well after your bedtime.)

The actual problem is getting into and out of the sports car without needing to visit the chiropracter.

But there is no reason electrics can't be, well, electric in appearance as well.

2/03/2009 6:14 PM  
Anonymous GMC70 said...

Speak for yourself, Dan. Gimme the Camaro; or in my case, a mustang GT. A '67, with a modern supercharged 4.6 under the hood.

And I won't feel a bit guilty.

2/04/2009 8:24 AM  
Blogger emawkc said...

XO, your totally wrong here -- but through no fault of your own. I happen to know that Dan keeps twenty to thirty swine in his large basement. The methane produced by these porkers is converted in a shed in Dan's backyard into electricity.

This clean, natural form of electricity is produced in more than enough abundance to power the new car. In fact, I'm not sure why Dan doesn't just spring for the Tesla, it's much more befitting his station in life.

2/04/2009 11:19 AM  
Blogger CecilC said...

Dan, I lived your dream, only in a 69 Camaro convertible (blue body, white top), 250 HP V-8, and it would fly like the wind! Of course, I had a motorcycle as well.

Now I have no bike, a pretty cool sedan (99 Chrysler 300M), and a lot of great memories.

2/07/2009 10:02 AM  

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