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Old 01-03-2010, 01:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
Ford Escort 2.0
TomEV's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Alameda, CA
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Electricar - '89 Ford Escort LX Hatchback
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Some people speak of the long commute they have... I have just the opposite - a very short commute. The distance is ideal for an EV, but short enough that it would probably cause damage to a typical IC vehicle.

(I used to ride a bike to work, but got tired of being run off the road by drivers that haven't had their AM coffee or are too busy chatting on their cell phone. Oakland ain't exactly bike-friendly to begin with...)

My commute is just under five miles at city speeds. My monthly miles on the Citicar are relatively low (200 + miles if I'm at work every day) but the avoided use of my gas guzzler (a Prius) keeps it in better shape - the Prius has become my weekend car. Once the warranty runs out I may consider making it a plug-in.

If only operated a short time, an IC engine doesn't really warm up - not enough time on the road to remove water vapor in the engine oil, exhaust condensate, etc. I've heard (but don't have any real data) that IC vehicles need to run at freeway speeds for more than 30 minutes to fully de-condensate.

The few IC cars that I see drive this short distance are still spitting water out the exhaust when they are parked. Condensate probably contributes to premature engine wear and exhaust / catalytic converter rust-out. Good for the dealer/mechanic, but bad for the IC vehicle owner.

A 5-10 mile commute may be a relative rarity, but probably about as common as those with a 100+ one-way commute...
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