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Old 01-17-2009, 05:28 PM   #909 (permalink)
EV test pilot
bennelson's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
Posts: 4,435

Electric Cycle - '81 Kawasaki KZ440
90 day: 334.6 mpg (US)

S10 - '95 Chevy S10
90 day: 30.48 mpg (US)

Electro-Metro - '96 Ben Nelson's "Electro-Metro"
90 day: 129.81 mpg (US)

The Wife's Car - Plug-in Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
90 day: 78.16 mpg (US)
Thanks: 17
Thanked 658 Times in 384 Posts
There have been at LEAST two motorcycles that were specifically built after learning about what I did with mine, but somebody actually saying "Hey, I'm gonna do this!" specific to my car is pretty cool.

Today was a meeting of the South-East Wisconsin Chapter of the Electric Automobile Association.

We did this as a joint meeting with the Milwaukee EV building group I have been involved with. The meeting was held at Tom's house in Milwaukee.

I woke up early so I would be able to hitch up the Metro tow bar and make the long haul in to the city, with enough time left to park the car in the garage for display and help set up for the meeting.

Old course, it's been 13 below zero the last couple days, and snowy, AND the roads aren't being salted anymore (there actually is a salt shortage going on!)

One of the worst places for bad roads being the intersection right outside the end of my driveway.

So, there I am, in a 4 cylinder, rear-wheel drive pickup truck, towing a ton of lead I like to call the Electro-Metro - Uphill, from a dead stop, turning onto the unsalted country highway with my mearly so-so non-snowtires.

I wait for traffic to clear, and then slip the clutch to find the magical place between killing the engine, and spining the tires. The truck inches uphill and turns onto the main road, but then slowly slides sideways, with the back end being pushed ever so slightly over by the trailing Metro.

I knew the roads were slick, but this is rediculous. The rear passenger side truck tire is six inches to the right of where it needs to be. Not off the road or anything, just off the semi-clear patch of asphalt.

My two-wheel drive is now one-wheel drive. Unfortunately, that one wheel is the one spinning and not going anywhere.

I am literally 50 feet from home. I imagine my wife snickering at me, but I think she has gone back to bed. I do keep a snow shovel and salt in the back of the truck, but I am really not in a position where either one would help much. It's just plain slick out here.

Now a while back (last time I was bringing the Metro home from Tom's, I think...) I was pulling into my driveway - it had been snowing, AGAIN - and I got stuck. At that time, I thought "Wouldn't it be nice if I could just push the truck out with the Metro!?" But of course, I couldn't. Too much snow, and the vehicles were in the wrong position.

This time, the Metro is completely on the road, and the truck really just needs a little push....

I have noticed that the Metro really does handle much better in the snow than my truck. So. I set the parking brake in the truck, set the parking brake in the car, took off the truck brake and hopped in the Metro.

I clicked on the ignition, put the car in tractor-mode 1st gear, took the parking brake off, and gently pushed the truck right back onto the clear portion of the road.

For the first time in my life, I just drove a truck from the trailer.

Back on the main roads, traction was fine and it was an uneventful 50 minute drive into the city.

Finally at Tom's, I unhitch the Metro and drive it right up into his garage, just behind Rich's Citicar. My car LOVES Tom's heated floor. The Metro immediately displays her love by dripping dirty snow and slush everywhere...

The electric car meeting is lots of fun, and we all meet new and interesting people. Ecomodder Doax is at the event.

Afterwards, I need to move the Metro, so Rich can get his Citicar out. I invite Doax to go for a brief ride (Tim, GET IN!) with me while the Citicar is relocated.

I impress him with the car's smooth acceleration and power as we prowl the 25 mph snow-covered city streets.

Amid the wrong turns, lack of the usual electric radiator heat, and DOUBLE the human beings fogging up the windshield, we manage to return safely to Tom's garage.

Tim now agrees that the car does indeed have a "Futuristic Cougar Sound©".
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