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Hot Wheels

Hallo hoppy reader,

I’m prep’ing for an on–site at a customer’s studio and started searching for my vehicular conveyance. During that process, I was reminded of my first and only experience with an all–electric car, so this Bitstream topic is about green vehicles and how you can drive ’em even if you don’t own one.

In the late 1990’s, I had to head down to LA, also for an on–site. I had heard that you could rent an electric vehicle, either a Honda or Toyota, since California in those days had mandated ULEVs in–state. So, I grabbed a Toyota RAV4 EV at the airport and had one of the strangest automobile event of my life. Driving that car was like playing a video game of driving a compact SUV. It had discernible time lag between accelerator pedal inputs and actual response. Also, being an all–electric car, it had no engine noise to speak of. The result was a very disconnected experience, as if I was remote–piloting the RAV from my home in the Bay Area.

Nowadays, you can still rent a hybrid vehicle in major markets or where smog is a problem. Avis calls them Eco-Rides, while Budget and National/Enterprise/Alamo simply class them as “fuel efficient/green” or “hybrid.” National/Enterprise/Alamo also offers carbon offsets. In every case, these alternatives are part of the rental company’s ego–stroking speciality line, where you can specify premium luxury and performance models. Unfortunately, no national rental company yet offers the ultimate green machine, a BRABUS-tuned Tesla, not that I could afford even a rental of that puppy!

I don’t know about you but I try to minimize my environmental impact. I don’t want to be the sphincter that leaves a J.G. Ballad–like drowned world to the future’s children. There are times when you must fly to a job site or vacation location, which results in a rather large carbon footprint in and of itself. At least, once you get there, you can rent a fuel–efficient vehicle!

That’s all for now. Think about the consequences of your choices and, continue to geek!


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