Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Minipost: A Tale of Two Vans

It was the best of vans. It was the worst of vans. That blue beast-box is my last van - a 1961 Ford Econoline. I miss it a great deal - in theory.

In reality, it handled terribly, had poor brakes, smelled always of gas and exhaust, was hard to see out of, was incredibly hot/cold/noisy inside, and it liked to overheat. I bought it for myself on my 40th birthday. I kept and drove it for five years. It now lives in Paris - Paris, Texas that is.

I had grand plans for the EconoBox. I wanted to two-tone it in torquoise and white. And I wanted to convert it to electric. It had lots of virtues as an electric donor, especially if I built it for town speeds and not for highway travel. It was light, simple, and had lots of room for batteries. And it had a roof that could accommodate a fair amount of solar power. No more than I drive, it could have been a self-powered machine.

And it was a really great way to meet people - everyone loved that thing. And everyone had a story or a dream that somehow involved a similar van. It could have been a great electric vehicle ambassador!

But I have come to a harsh reality over the last few years - I am a blogger, not a do-er, so I sold the van to a Paris guy who had dreamed of owning one for 20 years.

All of that was just to say that I really like funky electric vans.

On today I saw an Electravan that is pretty cool and that I would love to drive and all that good stuff, but the reason I wanted to share it with you is to offer you the same chuckle I had when reading its seating capacity:

5 people or 15 clowns. I just built a 
seatback to make the battery box into a 
back seat. Apparently this was a 
factory option. Had 3 skinny people 
back there yesterday and they said it 
was fine. 3 skinnies can squeeze 
across the front too, but it is trouble 
for shifting/emergency brake. With a 
smaller battery box it could be 
configured for 3 rows of seats for 
small people. Which would be 

The moral of this story - maybe funky electric van drivers are just as much fun as funky electric vans.

May your green transportation fill you and others with mirth - that would definitely explain electric car designs such as the Leaf and MiEV.

Ps. That van has the same size tires as my Vespa - it is tiny!