Monday, March 30, 2009

First drive in a TH!NK City Electric Car

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to drive a TH!NK City electric car for the first time. I was in the Bay Area and visiting another Company when I was offered the chance to make the test drive. I jumped at the chance and here are the results.

Interestingly enough, though exhilarated to get behind the wheel and to press the accelerator, the novelty of battery electric wore off faster than I could get from 0-30mph. Right away, I was "noticing" some of the side-effects, like different high-pitched whines, rattles that were unheard before, and lack of many things (AC, long range, etc).

What it really said to me in the end is that cars are about so much more than simple powertrain. Range, Curb appeal, Performance, Usability, and many more factors come into play in order to make a vehicle a must-have. In the next couple of days I will detail more on what TH!NK did to meet (or miss) some of these objectivves.

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Question for you, Jay and not one most people would think of but with ENCAP and pedestrian safety in Europe having taken hold and making its way into the N/A car industry, with a much quieter vehicle (ie: an electric vehicle) what are the chances that there will be MORE pedestrian-vehicle accidents as electric vehicles just do not make the same sounds or any sound versus a conventional vehicle or truck. Seems like a funny question to ask or query a viewpoint but in an urban setting many people do (subconsciously) listen to an engine or brake note before crossing a street. I have only ever driven one electric vehicle (Roush EV) and that was quiet as a church mouse. My Program Manager almost got plowed (by me) as he did not hear me driving up to him and when he turned around he got the fright of his life. (heh..heh)

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