Considering the Silver Streak project – the 400 mile per charge EV1-powered Insight currently under construction, it seems appropriate to repost the following story about my adventures driving an EV1. Recently discovered photos I had taken on that trip eleven years ago, help tell the story better this time around:
Hello to all, I am once again, on the road on business, traveling by air and doing the usual car rental thing, but this trip is a bit more interesting, and I wanted to share a highlight with all of you.
As my travels had me going into Orange County, CA, I had originally made flight arrangements into John Wayne. As I have made it my policy to rent environmentally friendly vehicles whenever possible, I often rent from ‘EV Rentals’ who is associated with Budget Car Rental. While in Phoenix, I rent Insights as they do not offer pure EVs at this time, but since I was in southern CA, I looked into flying to LA instead of Orange County, as the EV Rental facility there has the largest choices of EVs and hybrids to choose from, and if possible, I wanted to rent an EV. As it turned out, I also saved my company some money with the less expensive Portland / LA round trip fare, as opposed to the Portland / Orange County trip fare.
The plan was, that I would drive the 45 miles or so from LA to Orange County. After my business was completed, the following day I had a meeting set up with a certain magazine who will be doing a feature story on my Honda Insight. That evening, I was to drive back to LA, return the EV1, hop on a plane to San Diego, and rent an Insight for my travels there (no pure EVs to rent there, either). Next, I would fly back to LA, then fly to Portland.
I had made all of the rental plans in advance with Gail Lee (she was extremely knowledgeable and helpful), so the folks at EV Rental in LA were expecting me. Arriving at the Budget facility, I was surrounded by EVs and hybrids - there were Honda EV Pluses, Priuses, and RAV4-EV’s…they even had a space alien green Insight on the lot…I was in EV heaven!
I was treated like royalty by the nice folks at EV Rentals, and was even taken out to breakfast by their Director of Operations and Planning, Terry O’Day, where he and I talked about everything from air pollution to EV drag racing. As we talked, Terry suggested that I cancel my flight to San Diego, and instead, just keep the EV1 a few more days and drive it down instead….why not? With NiMH batteries, the EV1 has a 140 mile range!