Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Local EV-Ingenuity!" Preparedness in Interesting Times

Local E-Vehicle Ingenuity!

I saw this solar-powered, made-from-a-kit, e-car yesterday at the "Common Ground Fair" in Unity, Maine. Common Ground is the place to be, Autumn Equinox weekend -- the annual alt-energy, green home, sustainable living, organic farming, great-eats fest celebrated for over 30 years.

It was the treat of the Fair to talk with the owner of this grasshopper green putt-putt pictured, which has just been licensed as a low speed vehicle by the state of Maine. 

It's powered by a big solar panel on the hood; there's nothing under the hood!

A SUNNev costs around $5,000, and is legal in Maine on roads up to 35mph.

The car was surrounded by excited listeners & do-ers -- a guy who'd made studded snow tires for his bicycle; a frail elderly gentlemen deeply in favor of this paradigm shift; a student at UMaine wanting the
SUNNev owner, a high school teacher, to come do a demo and talk; student said he'd write a grant for it.

Owner replied, sure, but include funding for a sub.

A what?

A substitute teacher, so I can leave my school to come to yours.

These could be built locally by towns, each with their own fab-shop! Oh wow, plastic tubing for the brake fluid!

Those batteries, lead acid? Hm. The car'd have more range with lithium --
Yup, but for now, lithium batteries are way more expensive.

How far on a charge?
--30 miles.

How fast?
-- 25mph.

What'll it set you back to plug the thing in to recharge? -- about 25 cents overnight.

The owner said he'd taken a Maine congress-critter for a spin, to get the ball rolling. Active discussions are underway to expedite incentives for EV, and to disentangle obstructive legislation.

For an example of legislative bass-akwardness, scroll down at to read the state's refusing to register Maine's first "ZAP" e-truck, on the basis of steering wheel, for goodness sake.

For kits:

Interesting times? Folks, these are exciting times! We can do this!

Note to Readers:   
Yeoman Gardener has published a book 
Wayfaring Traveler, 
Whale Rider of the Tide and Amazon reviews

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