Solo: Life with an Electric Car

Noel Perrin, Author
Noel Perrin, Author W. W. Norton & Company $18.95 (191p) ISBN 978-0-393-03407-3
Paperback - 196 pages - 978-0-393-33519-4
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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.)
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