I drive a Toyota RAV 4 electric vehicle (EV). To say that I am ecstatic about this driving experience is a monumental understatement! In fact, this car has worked so well for me on all levels that my initially skeptical husband leased his own electric RAV 4.
The Benefits of Driving Electric:
- No tailpipe; no emissions. Any hypothetical "impulse" to personally contribute to global warming or poor air quality must be accomplished in non-automotive ways.
- An outrageously smooth, silent, vibration-free ride
- Plenty of pickup, power and a smooth acceleration curve
- The privilege of driving in the carpool lane by myself
- A 100-mile range between charges. I simply plug the car into the charger in my garage every few days as needed.
- No more trips to the gas station. Rising gas prices are irrelevant to me.
- Electric cars have no moving parts, no alternator, spark plugs, wires, fan belts, head gaskets, etc. This means . . . LITTLE OR NO MAINTENANCE, which also translates to minimal down-sales profit for the rapacious automakers. Hence the industry's stubborn resistance to EV production and historically bad press for EV's.
I have further stepped out of the box by enlisting the aid of the sun. I've effectively lassoed radiant energy-producing rays with a solar photovoltaic system on my household roof. My monthly electric bill is approximately $25, including the cost of charging my RAV 4. Prior to leasing the car and after installation of the solar array, my monthly electricity bills ranged from MINUS $8.00 to a puny plus $10.00. I figure the cost of powering my electric car is approximately $25 per month. Compared to my old $100 gasoline bill, there is NO COMPARISON.
There is, unfortunately, a sad and ridiculous part of my story. California's EV Program has been surprisingly successful. All available electric vehicles, whether purchased or leased, were snatched up in 2002. Automakers strive to hide this fact along with Toyota's long waiting list of frustrated customers who wish to buy or lease an EV. They also downplay or ignore how enthusiastic EV owners become after driving an electric car for any length of time. The auto industry continues to beat the drum of "We can't produce electric cars because there is NO DEMAND." Perhaps fearful that electric vehicles might actually catch on in even a limited way, they have now simply stopped producing EV's. General Motors is refusing to extend leases on its EV-1 car and, in fact, are crushing the cars when they are returned at the end of the leases. (Getting rid of the evidence?)
If you would like to help EV enthusiasts in our ongoing campaign to encourage production and promotion of electric vehicles, please call the Toyota National Input Line at 800-331-4331. Tell the nice lady that you support continued production of electric vehicles. You could also write to:
Dr. Alan Lloyd, Chairman
California Air Resource Board
California EPA Building
100 I Street
Sacramento, Ca 95814
Tell CARB that you support the California ZEV mandate and want them to enforce continued production of EV's in our state because clean air and helping to end America's addiction to foreign oil is important to you.