Solo: Life with an Electric Car

Overview

In the spring of 1991, Noel Perrin flew from Vermont to California to pick up his new electric car. He planned to bring it home over the Sierras and the Rockies, a 3100-mile drive. It would not be easy. An electric car like his can go about 50 miles; then you have to stop for six to eight hours and recharge. When he got back to Vermont, he put the car into daily service as a commuter vehicle - thus driving to and from his job at Dartmouth College without causing any pollution. This book tells the story of both ...
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1992-10-01 Hardcover New Hardback w/ DJ. Enjoyable reading copy for your personal pleasure. You are buying a Book in NEW condition with very light shelf wear to include very ... light edge and corner wear. Read more Show Less

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Overview

In the spring of 1991, Noel Perrin flew from Vermont to California to pick up his new electric car. He planned to bring it home over the Sierras and the Rockies, a 3100-mile drive. It would not be easy. An electric car like his can go about 50 miles; then you have to stop for six to eight hours and recharge. When he got back to Vermont, he put the car into daily service as a commuter vehicle - thus driving to and from his job at Dartmouth College without causing any pollution. This book tells the story of both the trip and the commuting. From the time Perrin gets taken to a flying saucer factory in Davis, California, to the time he meets a man with four electric cars in Rotterdam, New York, here are his adventures on the road. Eventually he did get home, though not quite in the way he expected. The car, by now named Solo, turns to commuting and is a complete success. Among other things, it wins its owner one of the rare reserved parking places at Dartmouth. "There's going to be a boom in electric cars around here," predicts a cynical colleague. "People will do anything for a parking place." Interwoven with Solo's story is the larger story of electric cars in America. Scarce now, they have a distinguished past and a bright future. Ninety years ago they were the favorite vehicle of city aristocrats. In 1903, for example, the six wealthy Guggenheim brothers in New York owned nine electric cars - and employed chauffeurs. The first 50 women drivers, without exception, drove electrics. Tiffany's bought electric delivery trucks. President Woodrow Wilson took drives from the White House in his electric car, with a Secret Service agent chugging along behind in a gasoline vehicle. Henry Ford owned three. No wonder. Electric cars were cleaner, quieter, and more reliable than early gasoline cars. After a 70-year hiatus, electrics are now making a major comeback. Aristocrats - including Prince Philip of England - are again driving them. General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler ar
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Challenged by a student in his environmental studies class at Dartmouth to do something rather than just talk about lowering pollution levels, Perrin went to Santa Rosa, Calif, and bought an electric car. The vehicle had the drawbacks common to many EVs: powered by a combination of batteries and solar panels on the roof and hood, it had to be recharged frequently (but could use any household outlet); its range was only 40-65 miles, depending on the flatness of the teain; and its top speed was 65 mph, although it used less electrity at lower velocities. Perrin (Fist Person Rural) hoped to drive the car from Santa Rosa to his Vermont home, but the Rockies proved an unsuperable obstacle; he had to have it towed to Illinois. Reading and visits to auto museums taught him that at the turn of the century electric cars vastly outnumbered those with internal combustion engines, a ratio he considers almost certain to return as agitation grows for non-polluting vehicles. (All the major manufacturers in the U.S., Japan and Europe, Perrin notes, will soon be marketing EVs.) A helpful epilogue gives names and addresses of EV manufacturers, dealers, consultants and associations. (Oct.)
Roland Wulbert
After listening to him impugn celebrities who fly energy-depleting jets to lecture on energy conservation, Perrin's environmental studies students forced the master of the amiable essay to admit that he drove a "gas-guzzling, air-polluting farm truck" to work. He began his search for a substitute, and in the summer of 1991 drove the electric car he had just purchased in Santa Rosa, California, cross country to his home in Vermont, stopping every 50 miles to recharge for seven hours. Here he also provides us a capsule history of the electric car in America (at the turn of the century, they outnumbered internal combustion vehicles in America) and, for those disposed toward having one, unbiased research on the alternative models (rehabs, almost exclusively), the necessary accessories (six solar panels cost $1,800 in 1991), and the overall cost (half the price of the traditional Detroit product but no cheaper than a 40-mpg car). Of course, the book's real pleasures lie in Perrin's accounts of his vicissitudes and encounters. Engaging and humorous, "Solo", with the right publicity, could find a hefty audience.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393034073
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.71 (h) x 0.81 (d)

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