I had a similar problem when the power company clear cut about 60 feet along the road and opened up my back yard to a clear view from the road. I like in SW Pa in a similar Zone to yours. They sprayed Tardon on the stumps so they would not grow back. I am up a bank from the road. I planted decorative grass that I got for free, it grows about 6 feet tall and then has a plum that is about another foot. I planted the grass 3 feet apart and it gets about 3' wide so I expect it to fill in. It dies back in the spring and has to be cut down, so there is a time when it does not protect the view. Behind that a few feet I planted Butterfly Bush. It grows about 6' to 8' high so I have no problem with the power lines. I planted them close enough so that they too should grow together and block the view. The grass was for instant gratification, the butterfly bush is for beauty, wind break, and Butterflies. Behind that[ I am now maybe 10' off the road I planted Almond, and Hazelnuts They are both short, maybe 12 to 15 feet high, like I said, the over head wires are a Big concern at this location. I can fill in around the butterfly bushes with flowers, I have a visual screen, I have no worries about road salt or chemicals, and I have a Beautiful flowering shrub that attracts Butterfies. I am sure there are other plants, and other options you can pick from. I felt this one worked well for me.
I attended a seminar about Biodynamics in Pittsburgh last weekend. I had never heard of this and went to learn with an open mind. It was a very interesting over view and gave the basic principals as well as explaining the herbs and additives that they added to their garden soils and their compost. Much of the process makes sense, several of the plants used in Biodynamics have been promoted on here as repelling pests from plants or promoting plant health in other ways. I did not care for the idea that I had to buy their calendar each and every year. The herbs and other additives could be grown and produced and fermented yourself at home [ assuming you had a cow or some way to acquire cow horn ] but the calendar changes each and every year and you are forced to purchase that item from them. The small number of reviews that I have read on the net about Biodynamics have been very mixed, some claiming better more healthy produce some claiming its results are the same as organic garden produce and some claiming the guy who came up with the idea was a flim flam man. People have used the time of year as shown by the fazes of the moon as a planting guide for centuries. Biodynamics takes this idea to a whole new level . The Lady who gave the seminar in Pittsburgh is having another one when she mixes up her manure tea and other mixes and said she will give everyone who attends a Gallon of the mix. It is an hour drive for me, and I hate to go to the City, but I am debating about attending just to get a Gallon of the mix and see how it works. Her 3rd seminar will be in the fall and let people taste the biodynamic veggies and fruits. At this point I am not convinced that Biodynamics has a Huge impact on garden production, but I fell that it certainly does no Harm. It may help, but I would need to see more proof to become a convert and buy their calendar.
I drive right through Pumxsutawney on my way to Camp Justin. I think its a lovely town, I know a Preacher there in one of your local churches. The Park in the center of town is lovely, but I miss the Old Hardware store that used to be on the corner where 119 turns off, it had a lot of great stuff in it that you can't get at Wal Mart.
Good Luck Patrick, it sounds as if you are well on your way. I have no clue why some people feel that it is OK to just dump unwanted garbage in the woods. My son bought a 10 acre wood lot with a newer log home on it a few years back. He hauled several pick up truck loads of metal trash out of the woods, broken lawn mowers, old gas grills, metal paint cans, metal junk of every description. Believe it or not it was the prior owner who dumped the trash there himself. Good luck with your plan, keep us posted as you go along.
I live south of you in Westmoreland County. I am about an hour east of the Burgh, between New Stanton and Donegal on the pike. I can see the Chestnut ridge from my 35 acre hillside. From what I see from my back yard to Denver Co there isn't anything big enough to be called a Mountain. Its a great place to live. They tell me I am in zone 6a now. I used to always be in zone 5 because of the Ridge. Global warming I guess has changed the zone. My Twp Supervisors are not known to be the most progressive. You might be able to convince them to allow a straw bale house with a strong argument. I don't know if they could rebut an argument like your code guy came up with. Once you have broken the ice it should be a lot easier for everyone else to get it approved. Although an award winning housing plan design was rejected by our supervisors so the property owner built low income housing plan instead. The reason they rejected the plan that won an award for Smart Growth from the state was " Rules is Rules " . So you can see, not very progressive around here.
Welcome Jeremy, Glad to have you aboard, I am pleased to hear about your straw house project. I have been very interested in straw bale buildings for some time now. I live about 3 hours south of Erie, I will be very interested in your progress. Keep us all posted about how you are coming along.
People have lived in Villages, Towns and Citys for a very long time, we are social animals and like to have others of our kind around. Citys are not going to go away any time soon. The main idea of this tread was how does one survive a disaster in a City. Being totally self seficient in the City maybe a pipe dream, but being able to survive a disaster for awhile is very possible. Surviving with comforts is perhaps a bit more difficult but it can be done with some planning. We had alot of warning about Sandy coming, people were told to get out. Some New Yorkers can't get out because they do not own a car. The City runs on a 3 day supply of things. Food, Gas, etc will be totally gone off the shelves in 3 days. If you want to survive longer than that you had to plan ahead and have some food and supplies set aside for you and your family. Some people in NY felt that their back up plan was to just go out and eat at the local Deli, there is one on every corner after all. The fact that they were closed, flooded or had no power sent that plan out the window pretty quickly. City apartments are small, so storage for large amounts of food is difficult. Have at least a 3 day supply of food and water befor the disaster and hope that the Troops will come and save you by the 4th day is 1st on the list. Having a camp stove that does not need electricity is something everyone needs to own as well as an oil lamp with a supply of oil, or some candles. The camp stove that can recharge a cell phone as it burns is a great idea and they are only about $130. Making a Rocket Stove out of a 5 gal can will cost you about $10 and you can burn sticks or even news papers for cooking and heat. Blankets, clothing boots etc are all on the list of things to have handy as well as some meds for 1st aid. Planning ahead is the key. And that planning should not start when you get the warning to get out of town. We tend to learn slowly, Katrena didn't help, maybe Sandy will. Everyone thinks that it can't happen to them. Thats about all I can add, I am sure that others will have more thoughts on this subject. Think, and plan ahead, good luck.
There is a nice Farmers Market in Mt Pleasant Pa every Wed during the summer, there is also one in Ligioner, Norvelt and I think there is one in Greensburg as well. I was surprised that none of these Farmers Markets were listed yet on the site I posted. Like I said, I think it is very new so maybe next year they will get themselve on the list. There is a Farm in Clarion that sells organically grown Beef that I sent the imformation to and there is a Farm here locally in my part of Westmoreland Co that sells beef and bakes their own bread from the recipe the Monks at St Vincent gave them. As the list grows I believe it will become a wonderful resourse for all of us.
I met the guys who started this site at the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs last month. I believe they have just started this site to list Farmers, Farmers Markets, Food Co-ops, Organic Market Stores etc and help put them in contact with potential buyers who want their quality products. The Farmers are rated by what methods they use on their Farms. You can register for free and list what types of produces you are interested in buying including meats, veggies, grains, fruits , berrys, mushrooms, honey etc. The Farmers also list what they grow and have for sale. I just joined the group so I do not have a lot of actual experience with them yet. Since they are new there are a lot of local farms in my area that are not listed yet, but I felt it was a start. It seemed to me that they are trying to provide a very worth while service here to both the farmers as well as the consumers. Let me know what you guys think. Here is the link.
I would definately try the leaf mulch 1st and see what happens. I personally feel that it will work to hold water. If for some reason my thought process is wrong what has it cost you? What have you lost but a little bit of time? If it works you have a good pond at No Cost, if it does not work you can always pay the money to buy a liner then. I would give the leaf mulch idea some time to work, let the glee build up a bit. If it seems to be holding in some places but leaking in others, simply apply more organic matter to the leaks. Good Luck.
Why couldn't these Faggot bundles be made to the right size to just fit into your Rocket Mass Heater? The ones they were showing were large bundles for easy carring, a smaller bundle could be tied with the stove opening in mind. Just a thought , but the bundles are fairly long so you would not have to add wood as often. The branches may try to expand after the strings holding them are burned off, but if they have dried in that compact shape I think they may stay that way as they burn. I would love to hear if someone tries the idea. As far as the Huglebed idea goes I do not chop the branches up much, I just add add dirt untill they are all covered. Most of the wood is on the bottom, but some branches extend upward to give a natural wicking action as they rot. The root will follow then down to the main water storage in the larger logs down below. They do not have to be neat to work well.
I personally think that doing something as laying down flat stones on the ground befor building the straw bale structure would help extend the life of the lowest bales by a number of years. Building straw bales directly on the ground has been done befor though, here is something from a book called, Handy Farm Devices by Rolfe Cobleigh coppyright 1909.
Cheap Sheds of Straw
It would pay every farmer to put up in the pastures some kind of protection for his sheep, hogs and cattle. Where labor is scarce and hay and straw is plentiful and cheap, a condition which prevails in many large sections, straw sheds and barns are very profitable. Put up a framework of posts 8 feet high, 16 feet wide and as long as needed; 30 feet is a good length.
The posts are hewed evenly on two sides and set so that a bale of straw will fit snugly between them. They are cut off at a uniform height and a 2 x 6 spiked securely on top. Rafters are nailed to this and covered loosely with poles. Baled straw is used for the sides.
After the sides are up the roof is covered 2 feet deep with loose straw held in place with a few poles that are tied together in pairs and placed over the ridge. Several of these sheds have been built for five years and have not needed any attention.
Mother Earth News did an article about this some years ago. I think they listed 25 tools that you should not try to homestead with out. They listed a hammer, regular screw driver, phillips head screw driver, some sort of saw, sledge hammer, digging iron, wheel barrow or cart, leaf rake, regular rake, spade, hoe, madock, cresson wrench, channel lock wrench, mower, syth, tape measure, That is about all I can remeber from the article, its been over 20 years, lol.
I live in SW Pa about an hour east of Pittsburgh next to the Mountains. I am very surprised by the difference in my garden and the growing season here compared with the Northern Tier of Pa which is more like the area around Cleveland. I have a hunting camp just north of Rt 80 , The Lake Effect snow pretty much stops at Rt 80 here in Pa. I had been picking tomatos for 3 weeks befor my friends near DuBios Pa. I am about 2 hours south of them and that 2 hours does make a big difference. Northern Ohio is a very beautiful area, rolling hills, good rain fall, few natural disasters, and pretty good soil. Cleveland even cleaned up its river so that it does not catch fire any more. Going a bit farther south from Cleveland will make a huge difference in the growing season. In the winter the storms seem to come from the north across the Lake and the snows can be deep up there for a good distance from the lake. If you want to homestead and live off the land I would check out where the Lake effect snows stop in Ohio. By the way, the Lake can have a warning effect on some fruit crops like Grapes and they do great very close to the lake. Grapes, raspberrys, cherrys, plums apples all do well next to the Lake, the large body of water keeps things moderate very close to the Lake. So depending on what you want to grow the Lake effect can be a good thing or a bad thing.
I agree with what others have said here. I would not try and heat the blade. I would oil it 1st and see how deep the rust actually is on the blade. Then try steel wool, or a light sand paper to clean the blade, then a stone to sharpen it. I would not mess with the temper of the steel and would not try to use heat to remove rust.
One fellow I know has a house in what we call a Coal Patch around here. It is an old " Company " house that was built by the Coal company for their employees in a line of houses that are all the same. The house sits up a bank and is very close to the road. His total property is over an acre. He has a high hedge along the road that not only blocks noise but also provides privacy. They live in the back of the house, they added a beautiful patio, have alot of flowers and other plantings from the driveway to the house. He raises chickens, has a grape arbor, many fruit trees and several gardens in his back yard. The border between his home and the neighbors is lined with tall decroative grass. He has made a very beautiful spot from what many people would consider a poor place to live. If the place you are looking at has alot of land with it at a good price, I would consider it, especially if the road is not very busy. The Fellow I am talking about lives on a very major road, His place is not on a hill, so the trucks are not gunning the engin to make a grade, but it is still a Major road. When I have visited him I have not noticed the road noise at all when we have walked around his back yard. As a mater of fact, I have not noticed the road at all and have felt like I was in an isolated spot out in the country. He has made a wonderful place to live and raise his family there. Being close to a road is a draw back in my opinion, but you can work around it if the rest of the property has potental. It may also be a good place to start and build equity that can be sold for a better place later. It is all about you and what you want, what you can live with, and what you feel you can do with the property to make it work for you and your family. For some people haveing the house too close to the road is a deal braker, to others it is no big deal. Think to yourself, can I be happy here, can I see myself living here, the answer to that question should make up your mind about buying the property.
AMG do not have twice the life of lead acid. Their biggest advantage is the no maintanance feature, if your people are not good at taking care of things, if they forget to check the water levels regularly and take care of the lead acid they could have problems as well as a reduced life of the battery. If they will do the required regular checking and maintain the batteries the lead acid will work well and last a long time. I am guessing that you are going with the deep cycle lead acid type 27 that are used in RVs and Boats etc. I have an Electric Car and went with the wet lead acid batteries because of the cost. I looked at the AMG as well as the lithium Ion, I would have loved to go with the Lithium because of the lighter weight, more amps, and longer life, but the cost of 3 times higher was just too much difference for me to handle. You are correct that the Lithium Batteries have come down alot in price and may continue to drop in price as more Companys get into their manufactering. But today they are still pretty pricy. You can argue that the Lithium do last much longer than lead acid and that amp for amp, volt for volt they cost the same in the long run, and have more storage in the short run. Lead Acid is very forgiving, nothing happens if you happen to over charge them. Lithium is not as forgiving and can explode if not charged correctly. The chargers for Lithium are much more complicated and much more expensive. That is about as much as I can tell you, Pays your money, Takes your chances, Choose, they each have advantages, and they each have disadvantages pick what works best in your situation.
Looks like you are well on your way. How much slope will the roof have? Do you plan on catching the water off the roof to be able to wash your hands and/or dishes out there? There seems to be some sort of patio or something next to the outdoor oven, is it close to the house? I think it is a Great project.
When you are looking at water storage, a bigger storage tank is almost always better. The cost difference between 500 gal and 1000 gal tanks is really not that great and having the extra storage can make a huge difference. Will you also be trying to catch and store rain water in this same tank? Even though you are dry for much of the year you do have times of rain and more storage makes alot of sense.
I see what you are trying to do now. Unfortunately you are not a Beaver. They live there, they hear a leak, they feel the water level changes, they constantly repair their dams. You need to make a dam that will not require constant repairs, that means a spillway that will not wash away or rot away. How much flow do you have in that stream? Can you get a pipe large enough to handle the normal flow? If so then use a pipe for the normal flow and a earthen spillway for the spring run off. If the flow is too large to be piped then make a spillway of earth and cover it with flat stone to reduce the amount of dirt being washed down stream. Start on the down stream side and lay in the rocks one on top of the other to allow the water to bubble as it falls from the breast of the dam. Backing the log dams with earth will help to keep them in place. use leaves or grass clippings, or straw to fill in the leaks. They will be washed into the places that need patched by the water flow. As they rot they form Glee that will help seal the dam as well as the pond floor. Good Luck with your project.
You did not say where you are located. Here in Pa the Fish Commission regulates dams on a flowing stream. You need to have permits to put in a Jack dam of any sort on a flowing stream. If it is a spring that starts on your property and you drain 100 acres or less you do not need permits here in Pa for a dam on your stream on your own property. I would suggest that you check with who ever is in charge of such things where you live so that you do not have any trouble with the powers that be. You may be able to divert water with a pipe to a dam that is not directly on the stream as long as the water re-enters the stream befor it leaves your property. I would find out the rules where you live, then see what you can do with in those rules. Or if you plan on doing what you dam well please because its YOUR land, then at least know what you need to hide and what you plan on saying when you get caught,
I agree that keeping things neat will help stop the complaints, but if you have a HOA you really do need to work on how people think. I really liked the idea of bringing in an expert to make your case for you. Someone with all of the facts and figures can go a long way to change how people think. Town councils are another issue all together, they normally do not like change, feel that changing ordinances cost them money as well as maybe costing them votes. It is much easier for an elected offical to do nothing, that way they do not make waves. You need a friend on Council, or on the zoning board etc, you need some one in your pocket so to speak, a friend that will help push your case. That requires leg work, talk to everyone on the board personally, make your case privately to every member, hear their objections, then get the ammo to shot down those objections in a public meeting. Get the facts that make your case, be prepared, but do not go in with a chip on your shoulder. Be nice, be friendly, be personable, make it hard for them to hate you. You may still not get everything that you want the 1st time out, but you will be planting seeds, and you never know what may grow from those seeds. Isn't that the Permiculture way? You need to know where the Bear Poops in your community, and more importantly, you need to know who the Bear is so that you can get around that problem. That is the best advise I can give you. Good Luck
If it is not a Big area maybe you could just cover it in plastic and let it cook out for you. Clear or black plastic will heat up and kill what is under it, might be easier and more effective than trying to dig all of it out. Three months of being covered should do the job.
That tech was in use during WW ll and it does work. Unfortunately the range of many of these veh is very limited, maybe 10 miles in some cases. There is alot of extra weight that you have to haul around with you to make the wood gas work. It is not as practical as you might think it should be to use a renewable item like a tree instead of oil. If you were a tree trimmer and had an unlimited supply of free wood chips it might make more sense to make the investment in equipment that is needed. As some one else has said, it is not very practical at this point unfortunately.
It was very nice chatting with you on line. I do hope that you can make the connection with the woman who lives between The Burgh and Cleveland for the demonstation. I hope that I will be able to come, but the distance could be a problem for me. Let me know where she is actually located so that I can make a better decission about the travel times involved. Thanks again, and I did enjoy the emails. Mike,
When the Amish raise a Barn around here they use green timbers for everything and let it dry in place. The only thing that they want dry are the wooden pegs used to pin the timbers together. The main beams then dry around the pegs, but the pegs do not change size. If you use metal pegs that is not an issue. A barn has alot of weight in it after the hay is in, so maybe that helps the green wood dry in place and not warp or twist, I don't know that for sure. But your house would have you and your stuff in it to help keep things in line. Good Luck with the project. If you are trying to dry logs you should know that they dry slowly, about an inch per year. So am 8 inch log takes about 4 years to dry fully [ an inch in on all sides toward the middle each year ] That maybe the reason the Amish use green timbers, they do not stock pile lumber for years. If you are using a basic post and beam construction a drop pin through the beam extenting down into the center of the post will hold things together. You can add a round shaped metal strip over the top of the round beam and bolt it to the post for more support. This site would not let me use the letterU in this post, because the computer thought it was poor english, I did not use a space between the letter so that it would approve its use. Not as pretty as some joints but cost effective and sturdy. There is a fellow here on this site that uses metal from old oil tanks that he gets for free to make these strips. I think his name is Dale Hodge, of something like that. He has several posts about using metal strips to fasten wooden beams and how he cuts them from old oil tanks. The tanks are free and the metal is fairly thick. He drains the old oil out and uses it in an oil furnace. .
You are right, water is number 1, you can not survive with out it. If you are thinking about a hand pump system here is an alternative that I thought was well done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCcehDeqwlw&NR=1&feature=fvwp water is heavy and pumping it takes alot of energy, either from you, or a battery, or the wind or the grid. The deeper the well the more energy it will take to lift the water up out of the well. Deep well pumps can get pretty expensive, but like we all agree, you Have to have water.
When you look at the EV album take a look at Jet Industrys cars. They were built as Electric cars from the factory back in the early 1980's. The 120volt system had a range of 50 to 60 miles and they have pretty good highway speed. In electric cars it seems that you can go fast, or you can go far, but you can't do both. That is unless you buy a Testa that goes 125 mph and runs for 225 miles on a charge. It is a GREAT car, but the price tag of the 2 seater sports car was $109,000. The 4 door sdn with a smaller battery pack is cheaper, $50,000 to $60,000 I think. A friend of mine got a Jet 007 and has been fixing it up. His wife drives it to work everyday. He replaced the controller and bought batteries of course, and has been doing a bit of body work to it, but the car runs fine now. He got it cheap and the range of the car is what you are looking for . I beleive Jet industries made a van back then as well, I do not know what range it has. If it is a little bit heavier, it takes a little bit more to push it down the road.
Here is a link to the EV Trading Post, they have cars, trucks, vans as well as used parts for sale. http://www.evtradinpost.com/list/5 Here is a link to the EV Album, they have pictures of all type of electric car, with specs and info about each one. Some of these car will be for sale. It will give you ideas of what has been done by others so that you do not have to re-invent the wheel. http://www.evalbum.com/type
I am not an engineer, so I can not help you with those calculations, but I am sure that there are charts and or formulas that can figure that our for you. There is a woman who runs the Sustainable living festival in Kompton Pa than converted a full size van with a group of kids. There is also a High School group from New England, Maine I think, that converted a full size van. Either of those people might be able to help you with what its like to convert a van, what it cost, and how much range they get. Look on the net and do a search to get more info on both of these people, They should both have a web site. Good Luck.
The Trojan batteries that you are looking at are very popular for electric cars. They are good quality and last pretty well. I went with Deca Batteries, a good bit cheaper. You get more amps from 2 6 volt batteries whan from 1 12 volt. The volts are the same, but more amps. Think of it this way, volts make the car go fast, amps push you up the hills. Amps are your power. The tech to build an electric car that works well has been around for years, it is not rocket science. Look for an electric car club in your area, they will be a huge help to you with your convertion project. There are better controllers than what I have as well as better electric motors. Cost was a big factor with the unit I have. If you are truely interested I would say go for it, there is alot of help out there from alot of different places. Good Luck.
The Chev S-10 is a very good PU to convert to electric. You can hinge the bed and place the batterys between the rails for safety. The 96 volt system you are looking at is very marginal as far as speed and range. There are many kits that will sell you all the parts for a 72 volt system for around $5000. Everyone that I know that went with a 72 volt system was not happy with their final car. If you go for 120 volt or 144 volt you will have much better hyway speeds as well as a much longer range. I have a 1986 Ponti Fiero convertion unit. 144 volts, 9" advanced DC motor, curtis controller, 75 mph, 15 to 20 mile range. 12 deep cycle lead acid wet cells plus a small 12v battery that runs the lights, horn, turn signals etc. It is about 2950lb as it sits with the batteries. The car was 2750 from the factory. If you buy new parts the curtuis controller is about $1500, 9" motor is about $1500, the pot is around $150, a DC to DC converter [ it acts as your alternator to keep the smll aux battery charged ] is maybe $200. You have the cost of the car, cost of wire, and battery connections as well as the Batterys themselves. I would say that you will have something in the $10,000 range to complete an electric car with any speed and range. If you look around you can find used parts, as well as cars for sale in various stages of completion, some running some not. Look on EV Trading Post.com or EV album to get an idea of what might be out there. If you live in a city and 35mph is a good speed for you then the 72v or 96v systems will be enough for you. If you have to go 55mph on the open road I would go for more power.
Using the over head wire system in Citys to run Buses is being used now where you have regular routes with regular stops. When you talk trucking goods to business locations the issues of the lines gets much more complicated. That issue is compounded by trying to get me to my house and up my driveway and into my garage. Using Electric Trains to move containers to distribution centers in large citys and then moving the good by trucks, electric or gas powered to the individual businesses makes sense to me and would cut pollution alot from the long haul use of diesel trucks for that purpose. Unfortunately there is no free lunch here. When people complain about the trucking industry a friend of mine, who used to own a trucking company, used to say ' That Guy does not know where his tooth picks come from " . His point was that EVERYTHING that you buy, EVERYTHING that you use was brought to you , or brought to the store by Truck. The Rail Roads, even as they stand today are much more fuel efficent that long haul trucking. Barge travel is even more efficent per ton mile than the Rail Road. We have options, but there has to be a push from the top to make the country more efficent and make us all use less Fuel. By the way, it WILL be painful for us as a Nation to Change.
I agree 100% that electric trains, and electric trolleys make a world of sense. Extending the electric corridor west from Harrisburg Pa could improve the efficency of rail travel as well as cargo cost per mile. The electric trains that run from Boston to Washington DC are well used, cost effective, fast, and on time. It takes less time down town to down town to take the train from Philly to DC or Philly to New York than it does to fly. [ The air ports are all a distance from the down town area and the trains go there directly ] One problem I see with extending electric rail travel is that the Rail Roads are all privately owned and the cost to extend the electric lines is very high. Government could spend the money to do this, but that would be directly subsidizing private companys. We do this with the locks and dams on our rivers I suppost, as well as our interstate hiways that you could argure directly help the trucking industry, but the electric lines would be on property directly owned by the Rail Roads. That seems to be a Huge difference some how. Nationalizing the Rail Road beds and rights of way could be done I suppose, but it seems too much like what Russia or china would do. We as a Nation need to talk about our options and decide what is best for the Nation, as well as what is Fair to the Private companys that own and operate the Rail Roads.
Even if I use the electric from one of the 3 worst coal fired power plants in the country which are here in western Pa I make 1/3 the CO2 emissions driving the electric Fiero compared to your Internal combusion engine. Gas cars are about 15% efficent, Electric motors are about 80% efficent, Electric does have a future, but we may have to change the way we think. The new Tesla sdn will do about 99% of your normal car driving needs. So maybe you have to RENT a gas car to drive to the visit Grandma in Washington State once a year. Is that really so bad compared to reducing your emmissions the rest of the year. There is a new company starting up that wants to rent you miles in your electric car like you buy min on your cell phone. You would buy the electric car with out the batteries [ That cuts the cost of the car in 1/2 ] then you would buy a monthly plan with so many miles per month depending on your driving. Unlimited plans would be avalable. They provide the Batteries and when they get low you pull into their service station, have a cup of coffee and robots take out your old depleated battery and install new charged up Batteries. The process takes about 10 min, not too much longer than filling your car with gas out in the wind, rain and snow. They are not in this county yet. They are starting in small countrys, like Isrial, Denmark, etc. By cutting the up front cost of the electric car in 1/2 you make them affordable to most everyone.
I have an electric car conversion unit. It is a 1986 Ponti Fiero with a 5 speed tran. It runs on 144 volt system with a separate 12 volt battery to run the lights, turn signals, horn etc. About 6 hr to recharge from 110 volt house current with an on board charger. It will go 75 mph and the range is between 15 to 20 miles depending on the hills here next to the Mountains. Here is a link to a picture. It runs well, its fun to drive, I live 5 miles from town so the range works for me. Its a Great little car and it works well.