After a week with EVE, my eyes have been opened

I used to doubt that a vehicle that looked like a souped-up golf cart had a place on city streets.

I was wrong.

After one week test driving EVE, an Electric Vehicle Engineering vehicle I was loaned to see if an electric car could fit into my life, my eyes were opened.

But not for the reasons I expected.

First, sitting behind the wheel of a car unable to go faster than 25 mph helped me realize what an aggressive driver I am.

I apologize to those I have pulled out in front of or honked at in the past 15 years.

Second, it was nearly impossible to text on my cell phone while driving. I needed both hands to drive safely.

And now, I apologize to those I scared this past year while texting in my car.

Keith Andrews, president of Fairplay Electric Cars, came to my house to pick up EVE after my week with the car. I told him I was surprised by how much better of a driver I am.

Andrews just smiled and shook his head.

During my weeklong test drive, Andrews never got on a soapbox about how electric cars are better for the environment or my pocketbook. Instead, Andrews just let me consider if an electric car could be a viable option in my life. It could be.

I own one car that I primarily use to run errands and drive between work and home. The stop-and-go traffic I encounter every day isn’t ideal driving, even in my small Honda.With EVE, I never worried about gas mileage or wear and tear. I could drive to the bank, the grocery store, the coffee shop and work on one charge in EVE.

EVE couldn’t be locked up, but I never left anything valuable inside, anyway.

Finding doors that lock is on the agenda for Fairplay, Andrews said.

Charging the battery was simple. I parked EVE close to my house and plugged the charger into an outside electrical outlet.

So for most of the week, my car sat in a carport collecting nothing but paw prints from the neighborhood cats.

The exception was one evening when I was responsible for covering any breaking news that happened.

Because it’s illegal for low-speed vehicles (LSVs) such as EVE to be on roads with a speed limit exceeding 35 mph, and you never know where breaking news might take you, I couldn’t realistically drive EVE to work.

So I drove my Honda. But I missed EVE.

(Incidentally, that night there were reports of a bank robbery in Fruita. I could not have driven EVE to Fruita in a timely fashion. I’m not even sure it would have been possible to legally drive EVE from Grand Junction to Fruita.)

I have never had so much fun driving a car. I had to think about forward and reverse (you have to turn a knob to change directions). I had to use my turn signals because I didn’t trust other vehicles around me not to run me over. I used my mirrors. I was defensive because I felt I needed to be.

In other words, I obeyed traffic laws and was safer on the road.

None of that is bad.

I couldn’t use EVE all the time, but I could use EVE sometimes.

The point of a car, for me, isn’t about earning style points. It’s about getting safely from point A to Point B. EVE did that at a minimal cost and no gas.

And that, to me, is enough.


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