Compared to this time last year, fuel prices are up nearly $1.00 a gallon. We all need cost relief. When Jay Leno excitedly telephoned his longtime friend Leon “The Motorman” Kaplan, Leno insisted that gas prices are no problem. Jay can show us the way.
Putting gas price relief into just two words, they are “Electric Cars.” Making a case for them to Motorman was a tough sell. Motorman, Leon Kaplan has a wide long-and-strong reputation as the nation’s #1 motor specialist, be that motors for cars, boats, bicycles or airplanes. If it’s got a motor, Leon is the man. Jay’s problem is that Leon is not onboard with electric cars.
No fan, when Leon began chatting with Jay, he didn’t detour Leno’s driving enthusiasm for his six month new Chevy “Volt”.
Leon presented the fact that an electric car battery lasts only about 3 years, takes quite a while to charge and delivers less driving distance than desired, adding that battery replacement is very expensive.
Motorman continued to explain to Jay, this type of car was developed back when electricity was a whole lot cheaper, now it’s costly, especially in California, where prices are likely to double in the next couple of years.
Plus, in Los Angeles today, brown-outs are becoming increasingly frequent. Power outages are common, due to demands of life saving medical equipment. As air conditioners increase heavy electricity draws, the ability to recharge electric cars will become a huge setback.
Leon added that given the growing population in a city where summer temperatures can rise to over 100 degrees, it could be impossible to recharge electric cars. Adding that power often must be redirected to where getting it is critical, “A 17 month old child cannot survive long during hot weather.”
Jay accepted that, still on the point his Volt is the answer to high gas prices. “I have gone 1412 miles using 1.7 gallons of gas. Leno continued, “My car probably has the best reach. Going down the freeway, take a foot off the gas, the car gains a mile or two in ability to travel distance because it regenerates, unlike most cars when you apply the brakes, this works when you take you foot off the gas.
Leon related that it wouldn’t be much help in northern states where cold weather can prove a distinct setback, because electric cars have no heater.
This not a concern for Jay, who said, “On cold days the Volt heats seats to toasty hot, and I think the steering wheel, but if necessary it can crank the gas engine.”
Leno goes on, “When I got it, it had a full tank of gas, no electricity. What it does is anticipate you won’t use any gas. A terrific feature, you know how modern gas goes bad after a month or two. What this car does is run a little gas thru the engine to keep itself clean then shut off. I think this is pretty amazing technology.
One thing I like about it is Nissan electric cars say they go 73 miles, but this car gives you miles when you need it. The batteries never get depleted, what happens is they run between 80% and I think 30% then the engine kicks in and recharges.
It’s not a slow car; it’s equal to a Camry. When people get in and I floor it they don’t go, “Hey this things a turtle. I mean it’s pretty amazing and what I like about it is, it’s selling is open in Germany and England and Australia and it originated in Detroit. American Technology.
It’s really fascinating; I’m really excited about this car. It doesn’t use ‘any’ fuel. I only go 35, 40 miles to work each way. It recharges about in 2.5 or 3 hours if depleted.
If you get home at night and plug it in you have a full charge in the morning at 110 mz., 8 or 9 hours, 45 minutes in 220.”
When Leon asked if Jay would drive it as far as Sin City?
Jay insisted, “Sure I’d drive it to Las Vegas. When I come down Coldwater I have 18 or 19 to go at the other end, coasting, it recharges. You see arrows taking energy out or going back in. It’s like driving a Video game.
Even in Minnesota when it requires a gas engine to start it up, you aren’t losing. You don’t need this as a second car it can be your only car. Carries 4 people.
If you get a spec sheet on this thing its really pretty cool. A technology marvel. Looks like a regular car.
Battery life lasts, too. I know a guy who had them 8 or 9 years and hasn’t had any problem. I think batteries go 1000 miles.
Jay’s final comment, “I love the fact that I haven’t been to a gas station in 6 weeks with this thing.”