I think we late ’70s/early ’80s peeps grew up in an awesome time. As kids, we could still appreciate that the Future was far away enough to dream big, and as adults, we’re seeing it happen.
Ok, fine, maybe every generation has that. But you can’t beat growing up in the ’80s.
Last night, Better Place hosted a tweetup to show off its vision, fruit platter abilities, and of course, the electric cars. We were shown a video, (hologram of Shai Agassi included), given a demo of the electric ‘pumps’ and of course – test drove the electric-only, Renault-made cars.
So, I didn’t consider what would actually be different about the driving experience. I was just excited to pretend I’m living Flight of the Navigator.
And the truth is, the cars look and feel exactly like other cars… except a few things. Some examples:
- They are QUIET. Freakishly quiet. So quiet, I think pedestrian deaths may rise.
- The ‘gas’ pedal takes getting used to. The role of the brake also changes a bit. When you take your foot off the electric-fueled accelerator, the car starts to slow down for a sec; it was explained that the car begins the process to conserve/recharge battery. If you brake right away, then it’s a whole lot more stopping than you meant.
- There’s a built-in computerized dashboard called OSCAR (operating system car) for data updates (how much you’re charged) and GPS (where the next charging station is).
When we had a little demo of the charging stations, I’m embarrassed/proud to say the first question that popped in my head was: Won’t it be about five minutes before some asshole shows up and cuts all the charging cables? Rips out the stations? Overrides the card system so they can detach the cars?
I’m a New Yawka, what do you want? No one else seemed bothered, though.
FYI: One thing about the Future and electric cars – they still don’t make me a better driver.
P.S. Dad, I think I know how to get you in a French-made car now…
They’re already selling them in Israel, and charging stations are up (as seen in Mamilla in Jerusalem).
The Future is here, Cabbage Patch Kids!