Thursday, April 24, 2008

I sing the appliance electric

First it was the electric lawn mower. My old city house had a lawn so small that I could probably have cut it with scissors. Just to make it worthwhile I would mow the first three houses lawns, and could have gone further because the electric cord reached. My current mower is actually my second electric mower. The new house's lawn is not too large to reach with a 100ft extension cord.

My wife has an electric chain saw which has served her well in the clearing of many of the trash trees on the property so that we can eventually plant trees on purpose and let the healthy ones grow up big and strong. This might be the one electric device that we wish was a little more powerful. Once the trees get too big we call in a professional anyway.

All of the wood from the trees that were cut is not going to waste as we have been using it for some very cozy fires in the wintertime. Instead of breaking my back with a maul and wedges to split the wood I had stepped into the electric age and I own an electric log splitter. It is a pleasure to use.

Finally I have gone so far as to get a half electric car, returning my leased car and purchasing a Toyota Prius. It actually had only 1 mile on it when we purchased it but I needed to get it home to take a picture of the odometer a la Mike. I have now driven it about 700 miles and finally have broken the 40mpg barrier. I wonder if any Prius drivers out there have any advice as to how to drive it economically.

Perhaps someday I can buy an all electric car or some other large electrical device. Maybe something large and sparky like the machine Tesla built in the The Prestige.

(post title references "I sing the body electric" from the Walt Whitman poem or the Bradbury short story and collection)

2 comments:

Mike Mahaffie said...

Cool! The secret to high mileage is "go gently." When I got my first Prius I spent some time on various Prius Owners' Group site whe ethere is plenty of advice. Like this page, for example.

But it's pretty simple. Accelerate smoothly and when you get up to speed, back off the accelerator ever so slightly. Maintain a constant speed and let yourself coast to stops.

52 MPG is just up the road.

Richard said...

Mike's advice applies to all cars, but especially to the Prius. I notice that if I accelerate gently enough the gas engine doesn't turn on until I hit about 35 mph or when I am going up a hill.

The quiet electric engine and the gas engine turning on and off is still a little bit strange. Now if only I could plug the darn thing in.