Monday, September 21, 2015

Vintage Electric Car in Mister Rogers' 'hood!

Blogging for me is one step closer to a 25-year dream that I have clung to - the PBS life. I have watched guys like Rick Steves (travels in Europe with an all access pass), John Viehman (mountain biking the Great Divide, kayaking rapids, and sea kayaking with orcas), and Bob Phillips (driving around Texas talking to crazy interesting people) navigate lives that any overactive brain would kill for on the PBS or [plug in your favorite adventure travel channel] sponsor budget. And these guys have one thing in common - they are boring guys living exciting adventures. I want to live the PBS life!

Today, I found another example of the PBS-life adventure in a very unlikely locale - Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Green Car Reports featured an episode of MRN where Mr. Rogers visited an electric car factory, Electric Vehicle Industries, and was allowed a test drive. From the accents, I'm thinking the cars were built in Massachusetts or thereabouts. The episode aired in 1981. I found myself on youtube right away. Oh, the envy! (I tried to tour the Zero Motorcycle factory once, but I never had much luck communicating with them. Life has been much less frustrating since I sold my Zero.)

Mr. Rogers Electric Vehicle and Divorce (complete episode from youtube)

The vehicles in the show were powered by 16 lead-acid batteries (96 volts) driving a GE motor coupled with a front-wheel-drive transaxle. Very ugly-cool machine. Ironically, the episode deals with divorce, electric cars, and excessive airplane fuel consumption. If I brought this particular car home, my wife might consider jumping on a plane and filing for divorce. (Just kidding - my wife is entirely too supportive of my ugly electric car obsession.) Mr. Rogers even talks about how cool an electric airplane would be.

May your neighborhood be filled with people who care enough to drive electric!