Thursday, July 5, 2012

My slow and pokey electric car

(Image: Wikipedia)
So,  I'm in the right-most (i.e.: the slowest speed) lane of a two-lane stretch of highway this morning. That's where all "slow" cars—especially battery-powered, electric-only ones, right? Never mind that I  just want to safely savor the luxury of my Focus Electric's leather interior and high-tech gizmos without getting in the way of all the "fast movers" and other vehicles "in a hurry." (Me? It's called "rush hour" but sometimes I just don't have the desire to get—or try to get—to work at light-speed!)

Anyway, directly in front of me in the right lane is a slower van. (I've got my cruise control set to 55 MPH and I'm catching up to you? Seriously?)

While still a safe distance (about 100 feet) from the van's rear, I check my mirrors and signal to pass on the van's left. A car (turns out it was a late-model BMW 325) is about half a mile in the left lane, so.... Pretty much clear to pass, right?

But, as I'm drawing even to (and passing) the van at the Focus' set 55 MPH pace, that (sports) car has gained a lot of ground. And by the time I completely pass the van, the beemer is practically on my rear bumper.

"I think this guy's in a hurry," I think to myself. "I better do the correct thing and get back to my 'slow' lane and let him pass me properly on my left side...."

It's the King! (Image: Wikipedia)
Van's about 50 feet behind me on the right... Check.

No cars in the right-most lane for at least a half a mile. Check.

Signal right. Check.

Merge right. Check.... And...  

MASH the Focus' accelerator pedal to the floor!!!

60... 70... 75... 80....

AMAZINGLY, NO "whine" or clue of strain from the Focus' electric traction motor!!!!

And hey.... Where did that "boom-and-zoomer" go?

A check with my Focus' left-side mirror and speedometer tells me I clearly left him in my wake—maybe about a quarter mile back!!!

88 MPH! Great Scott! (Image: Wikipedia)
And the speedometer also tells me I've effortlessly "pegged" my Focus Electric to the electronically-limited top speed of 88 MPH! (Gadzooks! If only I had a flux capacitor and could generate 1.21 gigawatts! ;-))

"Better slow down... I don't want to break something in the car—or get a speeding ticket...."

And as I slow down (by coasting uphill, right foot off the pedals), the beemer screams past me—probably doing about 80 since by then I was doing about 70 and rapidly decelerating....

Fool-hardy on my part? Probably.

Childish? Admittedly, yeah.

But the satisfaction of knowing that an American electric "golf cart" smoked a German-made, gas-drinker?

P - R - I - C - E - L - E - S - S

Still, NOT a very wise or particularly safe or "green" way to drive. (My "poor" acceleration performance scared all my in-dash "butterflies." ;-)) But I still had a 30-mile range left on my Focus' batteries by the time I shut down at work. :-)

After all, I drive a pokey electric car.... ;-

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