July 12, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

My Mandeville Canyon “Status Carâ€

Teri Redman Kahn - aka SPARKY 9!
I guess you would call us early adopters of car technology. When the EV-1 came out my husband and I were one of the first to get it. It was a gem; it flew like a rocket and drove like a Ferrari. When oil prices rose after 9/11, we couldn’t care less as we breezed right past the gas stations. It was all great until General Motors recalled all electric cars and that was the end of that.

So, we eagerly awaited the arrival of hybrid cars. Japan had been driving them for a decade and hybrids promised to revolutionize gas consumption in this country. We were the sixth people on the list to buy the 2004 Prius—two ahead of Larry David! We loved that car as well. I called it my sport utility vehicle because of its versatility and trunk capacity. But I did have to fill the tank and was still dependent on foreign oil. Toyota had been promising a plug-in model for years, but only recently brought it to market. Again, we were near the top of the list to purchase that car.

Before we bought we felt it necessary to at least test drive some other electric cars. We were both taken with the Chevy Volt. An electric motor drives the car, but if it runs out of “juice†there is a gas engine that provides power to the motor. While still a hybrid car, the Volt uses electricity before defaulting to the internal combustion engine. No range anxiety, no noise, and —if you drive less than 40 miles each day—no gasoline. This has been a great car.

In addition to breezing right past gas stations, there are other benefits to purchasing an electric/plug-in hybrid car. Both the State of California and the federal government are giving generous rebates to purchasers. We will receive a total of $9,000.00 in rebates and tax credits off the price of the Volt. The charger in our garage is on a separate meter and all installation costs were covered by the DWP. We charge the car at night when electricity rates are their lowest (base period). And, these are the hours when a greater percentage of electricity is provided by renewable energy sources. We feel great about the fact that zero foreign oil and a much reduced carbon footprint powers the car. In addition, there are the smaller perks. The Volt qualifies for HOV stickers. We park in preferred spaces in several of my favorite shopping malls, and we can charge the car while we shop. Best of all we receive free close-in parking in lots #1 and #6 at the airport.

Our son wryly called the Volt our “Mandeville Canyon status car†. He thinks we are crazy. In the meantime, I have put over two thousand miles on the car and have used only 7 gallons of gas. If this is crazy I am all for it. For clean air and a better tomorrow, please consider an electric car for your next purchase.

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