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Old 12-19-2008, 11:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Why don't you walk, ride a bike, or build a cheap EV?

Going with the data off of the How many miles do you commute every day poll I made a while ago about average commutes for people. It shows that 28% of voters (15 people) are within reasonable biking range (0-10 total miles miles per day, or 5 miles one way). Additionally, 49% of EMers who voted (26 people) have a commute that is within reasonable cheap home brew EV range (0-25 miles or less, 12.5 one way).

My question is, why don't we have more people biking and/or building EVs? It kind of seems like a no brainer to me. Bikes are cheap (check your local craigslist), and its been shown that $1k and next to no knowledge of cars can get you a cheap EV. Why aren't we seeing more walking, biking and EVs? I dug and found out there are 31 biking entries, so maybe we are already doing great in that area.

I'm not trying to point fingers here. I'm honestly wondering why there isn't more going on. I know there will be things like winter weather to deal with that eliminates walking and biking for half the year for a lot of us, but the EVs can deal with that. This is really for the 49% who have a shorter commute, but what stops you from doing one of these options?

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Old 12-19-2008, 11:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm in the 10 to 25 mile range. As for the EV option, I've been too busy to build one and I live in an apartment with no outdoor outlets. Last spring I road my bike a few times until the bike was hit by a car--I wasn't on it at the time.

In the final days of my old Hyundai, I was walking quite a bit. It was a good workout, but it took a long time. But, not as long as public transportation, which is unpredictable at best out here.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I do - or I should say did WRT commuting, since I telecommute now, but in past jobs I mostly biked. Previous job was 5 miles, with a steep climb of about 700 ft at the end, which sure got the blood pumping for work. Was neat, though: the last mile was through the employer's private wildlife preserve. The one before was 16 miles, but mostly level.

As for why not an EV for the non-work driving, one of the places I regularly hike/ski is 17 miles, with a 4500 ft elevation gain. I'd sure like to be able to afford a set of batteries that'd handle that, without weighing so much that I need a second set to provide the energy to lift the first that distance.
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think the aim of the question though was to find out why - for people whose lives it would easily fit - there isn't more interest in alternative methods of getting around.
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Good question. Riding bikes is incredibly more fun than driving, and more challenging. Builds charachter, buns of steel, at-work energy levels, at-home energy levels, etc. If I could I would. I used to and would like to again someday.

The main reason for me is time and convenience. I go from 5am to 10pm flat out almost daily with work and other must do's.

I'd like to someday build the 911 project into an EV. Though some say it's heresy, I still want to. Problem is the cost and packaging to get a 60 mile round trip. Local EVers say were just not quite there yet with battery technology, at least the kind of technology that home brew conversions are made of.
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My commute is 5.6 miles each way but I'll offer my answer anyway. I wouldn't mind biking that distance, but there happens to be a mountain right in the middle of it, which would be grueling to say the least. As for an EV, I live in an apartment building, so even if I were able to build one somehow/somewhere I have no place to plug it in. Another suggestion would be public transportation, but there is no bus I could take that lands close to my work.

Edit: It is also very cold here in the winter, and it tends to snow, like right now for instance. I find that no matter how much I bundle up riding a bike becomes uncomfortable below about 35*F.
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I drive exactly seven miles to work. It burns me up that I am too chicken to bike to work.
I would need to go through the bad part of town, as well as cross several busy intesections ... at 3:45 A.M., sice I work the early morning shift.

I too live in an apartment, so not EV friendly here !

One more thing : The bus doesn't run at 4 in the morning and the folks I work with are not carpool friendly.
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Most of the year, I try to park & ride (the bike). One parking location gives me 12 miles one way, another 17 miles, and a third, 25 one way. Have to build up after the winter off. The rest of the time I ride a motorbike, but even that gets old in the winter. Would be cool to have a bike rack on the motorbike tho' ... I've seen some that have done it.
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formula413 View Post
...but there happens to be a mountain right in the middle of it...
A mountain? In Massachusetts? Sure there is :-)
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
A mountain? In Massachusetts? Sure there is :-)


Commute is from Easthampton to Holyoke.

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