Going Electric

Date posted: April 15, 2014

Next week is Earth Week here on the Bellevue College campus, and the first day (Monday, April 21st) is going to be our Transportation Fair which will be showcasing many options for commuters; and one of those options is using, buying or converting your own electric car.

In preparation for the upcoming electric cars that will be showcased we interviewed Jeff Finn, who is the Board Secretary of Plug In America (http://PlugInAmerica.org) and a converted electric vehicle owner (find out more about at: http://VoltRunner.com) about the electric vehicles that will be at our Transportation Fair.  Those vehicles are: an electric motorcycle, a Tesla roadster, a converted pickup truck and Jeff’s Volt Runner which is also a converted car.

Since this showcase will have a couple of converted cars, we first asked Jeff about how somebody would go about converting a car.  His experience started by frequenting the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association meetings where he found out many interesting facts about converted cars.  First of all electric motors only really have one part which cuts maintenance of the cars down to almost nothing and eleminates items for the landfill like oils, antifreeze and sparkplugs.  Another interesting fact about converting a car to an electric motor is that you are recycling an automobile that could go to the landfill, and the engine you are replacing can also be recycled into parts for other cars.  The rule of thumb with converting cars is apparently if the car had a good gas-mileage rating to begin with then it will make for an even better electric version!  The final point Jeff brought up about converting your car to an electric is that for every $1 a person spends in gas he only roughly spends .20 cents!  So besides the convenience of saving time with reduced stops at gas stations, the ability to just plug in your car at night like your iPhone to charge it and that maintenance is practically zero cost you also save quit a bit of money overall.

Yellow Tesla Roadster from 2012 Earth Week

Besides the converted cars that will be showcased at the fair we will also have electric cars like the Tesla roadster, and you can find more examples on campus like our very own Nissan Leaf that you can rent.  Jeff was quick to point out a major incentive for electric cars over regular gas engines, torq!  This is not normally a subject that most people talk about when it comes to electric vehicles, most talk about the environmental and economical aspects of choosing an electric car, but when Jeff stated that the Tesla roadster accelerates from 0-60 in under 4 seconds, that seemed amazingly FAST.  So basically we can now buy a car, or convert one ourselves that not only will save us time, money but also give us better acceleration than a gas-powered car?  Makes you wonder why our roads are not full of these options yet?!

Just in this one interview the world of electric cars opened up more possibilities that many might not have known, but don’t just take our word for it… come visit the Transportation Fair, ask Jeff or the other electric vehicle owners/converters and find out for yourself if going electric might be in your near future!