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40 MPG is LOW at the Alt Car Show

Published Dec 13th 2006, 6:26pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Mm_carby Mary Hunt of In Women We Trust
Dang! Just when I was feeling smug by getting 40 mpg with my Honda Civic (that isn't a hybrid) I go to the Santa Monica ALT Car Show and meet cars that get 100 mpg or don't use gas at all.

This little red bomber of a car called the NmG for No More Gas, comes from Myers Motors. It looks like it slid out of cartoon, but actually it's shaped to mimic a bike helmet for optimal speed. On top of that, the all-electric car can go 70 mph and can be insured for just $400 a year. Why so cheap? Legally, it's rated the same as a motor cycle. What's the "yeah, but...?"  Yeah, but it only has a 35 mile range... Yeah, it's cute, but at $23,000 it's a lot for a toy that holds one person and a suit case.... Yeah, but it's drier than a bike in rain...

My husband loved it. He had his checkbook out and was ready to buy because it was non-polluting and "It looks like an airplane with it's wings torn off." Hardly a reason to buy a car. (although he had a point...) Actually for him, he saw it as the perfect commuter car to and from work which is 6 miles away. Besides, if we ever go anywhere together we always take the Civic.

That said, the wallet stopper was that they are basically hand built with a long waiting list. Still, can you imagine your "brand name" riding down the highway on this? It's hard not to get noticed.

That was one of the lessons I learned at the show. Practicality and global warming aside, when it comes to cars, styling becomes everything once the jump to electric is made. The Prius and Honda were just starting points.

Spyder The Electrum Spyder answered all the ego questions missing from the NmG. If you buy it, however, you'll also be missing $69,000 out of your bank account. That's reasonable compared to other current attention getters at twice the cost. There is a big problem - Zoom, Zoom, Zoom is replaced with Whisper, Whisper, Whisper. If you like the roar of an engine, you're out of luck, but if you like the idea of living next to a soundless highway, start supporting the new "plug and play" market regardless of the cost.

The show also featured other sorts of hybrid combos and fuels and all are being embraced and nurtured. I personally like the all electric option the best.

1. Unlike hydrogen or Bio-diesel, the infra-structure for electric cars is available now. Everyone has a 110 plug in their garage and it's easier to plug in your car than waste time at a gas station or waste time putting a nationwide pump structure or distribution market into place. You can buy an electric car and run it tomorrow, or buy a hydrogen car and wait until you can fuel it. It's a girl thing.

2. Electricity can be stored in a car battery. It can't be stored otherwise. Most scientists will like that. It's a usability thing.

3. Out here in California, wind and solar generators help create electricity. Both provide sustainable, non-polluting, non-petroleum based solutions. It gives officials one more reason to develop better alternative power sources. All citizens will like that.

What didn't I like? That was lesson two from the show... Stay tuned."

Originally posted on In Women We Trust

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