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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

What is the Most Important Factor When Buying an Electric Car

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2021 Tesla Model 3 LR

We have owned this Tesla Model 3 for 14 months and have used it 9000 miles. We have driven it to Tamaqua - Washington DC - Richmond - Atlanta - Savannah - Pensacola - Jacksonville - Orlando - Miami - Sarasota - and Tampa. It has 9800 miles on it. With tax it cost $56000. 

The car has 450 horsepower and a range of 350 miles. Besides the power - the most noticeable feature is how quiet it is. It is as simple to drive as a golf cart. Your press the pedal to go - and leave of the pedal to stop. Everything else is just like a normal car - except no noise - vibration - smell - transmission - exhaust. It has a big battery that you plug into an outlet to charge. 

We have owned several other small electric vehicles - I will review some of them here. 


2012 Nissan Leaf

I wanted to buy a golf cart that was street legal with lights and seat belts. They were about $10,000. Lulu told me if I bought one - she would not ride it on the street. She suggest that I buy a used electric car. A new Nissan Leaf cost $40,000 - way over what I wanted to pay for a second car. She looked around and found a 2 year old Nissan Leaf that we bought for $12,000. Little did I know I would be happily driving that car for 7 years! One of the longest car purchases I ever made. The car had a range of 75 miles brand new - but after nine years it was down to 40 miles range. Still - it was a dependable quiet car - that we loved using around town. My neighbor still drives it every day. In 7 years all we ever did to it was put on a cheap set of Walmart tires for $160. This car convinced me that electric cars were the future. 


1975 Aurenthetic Charger

When we owned The Tamaqua Paper - we needed a small cheap vehicle for visiting stores downtown. It was easy to park and cost less than one cent a mile to run. It was an Aurenthetic motor scooter. It had two 12-volt auto batteries between your legs. You charged it by plugging into a regular 110-volt outlet. It went about 25 miles at 25 miles per hour. It had a two-stage controller - 12 volt - and 24 volt. Slow and fast. It was dependable but you had to keep an eye on that voltmeter. Hills would really cut down on the range. I paid $550 for it brand new in 1975. I later traded it for a piece of printing equipment. Lulu - my friend Paul Dodson - and I all took our motorcycle driver's license test on it. The motor looked very much like an automobile generator - driving the back wheel with a chain. Lulu did end up on the hood of a car once because this vehicle had poor brakes. 


2010 Club Car

This golf cart was 2 years old when I bought for $3000. Lulu was away in Germany - and this deal came up so I had to act quickly - so I bought it without permission. The deal included a brand new set of batteries. I was banking on it being Florida State color - garnet and gold. Lulu would love that I thought. When she came home I promised her I would make money on it. I used it to run between houses when we were building the new house. I also used it to pull the sweeper on our new property - picking up all the pine needles. It was quiet and powerful. Finally - after 4 years - a visitor asked to buy it. I told them I wanted $3050. They asked why. I told them I promised Lulu I would make money on it. No questions asked - they handed me the cash. That must have made sense to them. I used it 4 years free and made $50. 


Most of the time when you use a car - you travel maybe 20-30 miles a day. At night you plug it into an outlet - and you have a full charge in the morning. When you have a range of 350 miles - that is like 7 hours of driving. It is slow to charge at home. 

On the highway you want to be able to charge fast. Tesla has the largest network of dedicated chargers in the world. It keeps growing every week. On the GPS screen - the Tesla shows where each charging station is. And boy do those superchargers charge fast! They can charge as fast as 1200 miles in one hour. That is like 300 miles in 15 minutes. I do not run mine down to zero. At about 100 miles left - I like to top up. That takes about 10 minutes. In that time I can use the rest room and grab a drink or donut. We have never come close to running out of power. 

Most other cars and chargers take a longer time to charge. In a few years - all cars will charge faster - have longer range - be able to charge anywhere. That is the main reason I bought a Tesla. In the future - I will buy a Ford - or a Mercedes - Volvo - VW. 

I have enjoyed 14 months driving our red car up and down the East Coast and all over Florida. In a few years - there will be electric campers that have 1000 mile range - and all the appliances will run off the big battery - heat - AC - refrigerator - microwave - hot water. That will be my next vehicle. 


Saturday, November 05, 2022

The Harry E Coal Company


I saw this advertisement on the internet. You can't make this stuff up. Here is a coal company called the Harry E Coal Company. I thought I was the original coal cracker. 

This Painting Reminds Me Of My Old Farm

February 6th 1948 - 10 miles south of Tamaqua

Dad worked in the mines from 1934 to 1959. He also moonlighted as a farmer. We owned a little farm on Lime Kiln Road just off Route 309 at the base of the Blue Mountain. 

The story goes there was an ice storm that night and Dr Weissner arrived at about 10 pm from Mantzville. He came inside and said I would probably arrive in the morning. He rolled up his coat for a pillow on our sofa - and went to sleep. At 4:45 am - I arrived. 

The story goes they hung a ham on a stick out the window of the upstairs bedroom - and the stork left me and took the ham. The doctor charged $15 for his services. 

Our old farmhouse - barn - and outdoor toilet - still stands almost 75 years later. This is not our real farm - but a very similar picture.

Andreas RD 1.  

Paul Got His New Tesla

My friend and fellow in-law Paul got his new Tesla yesterday. He ordered it 4 months ago. 

It is a 2022 Model 3. 

I like the two tone interior. 

He already has a Stage 2 Charger installed in his garage. His home has a solar system so he can charge the car directly from the roof! 

Good luck to Paul and Evelyn with your new electric. 


Friday, November 04, 2022

The 1972 Honda N600 Sedan

1972 Honda N600

In 1971 - Lulu and I were married. We honeymooned in Miami Beach. 

In the summer  of 1972 - Lulu and I were married a year. She has just graduated from high school - I had just completed teaching my second full year. I had all of my summer pays in my pocket - so what was a better thing to do - we bought a brand new car. 

Honda had just introduced their first car - after years of selling motorcycles to America. The Beach Boys were singing about their "Little Honda." 

The car had many new features - but to us - the price and miles per gallon - were big deals. It cost $1500 brand new. It had a 2 cylinder air cooled 600cc engine. It could go 60 miles on a gallon of gasoline. It was front wheel drive on 10 inch tires and wheels. 

Since we had spent our honeymoon at Miami Beach in 1971 - we felt comfortable there. So for a total of $8 we drove the 1300 miles from Tamaqua PA to Miami Beach FL. We got there and rented a room and bathroom in an old mansion in downtown Miami for $70 a month. It was July and we had no air conditioning - just a fan to keep us cool. We took a lot of showers. 

We took summer jobs - I worked selling Honda cars and scooters  - Lulu worked at the service desk in Kmart. She took the bus to work up Biscayne Boulevard. She would announce the Blue Light Specials.

By some strange planning - both the Republican and Democrat National Conventions were held in Miami Beach. We felt like we were at the center of the world. 

As September approached - we had to decide whether to return to Tamaqua and my PV teaching job - or never going home again - and finding new work. I know what Lulu wanted to do - Miami Dade Community College. But instead we returned home to my job and Lulu's slot at Kutztown State College. She drove this Honda there from Tamaqua. In 3 years she had her BS in Library Science. 

Thursday, November 03, 2022

My Two Favorites Left Me Home Alone for 6 Days

2021 Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor

Last night we got home from a one week trip back to our old homeland in Pennsylvania. Fortunately we traveled by jet. I had just enough time to clean up our red car for Lulu's annual cousin's trip. 

At 8:30 this morning - my two favorites - Lulu and our electric car - left me and took off for Cocoa Beach. On the way - she will stop in Sanford FL to pick up the cousins at the airport - and head to a beach condo our friends loan to Lulu. It will be 79 degrees there today with surf temperatures of 77. She claims all they do is swim and sun - but I am guessing there will be wild parties and pub crawling :-) Don't forget all the thrift shops and shows. 

We have the electric red car now for 14 months. It has 9000 miles on it - mainly because it sits home while Lulu works all over the world. You can't drive to Australia - London - Germany - China - or Dubai. 

The cars is a joy to own. Yes - it is super fast and quiet. It is also very plain with all the controls engineered into one large computer touch screen. You just press one button - and away you go. Lift your foot from the pedal and it stops. On highways you put the auto pilot on and it does most of the driving. This is Lulu's first big trip alone with it. She is a great driver - but tends to lead foot a bit - she was first to approach the 145 mph limit before I panicked. 

We still have the Honda Odyssey - 6 years old - 30,000 miles. I would like to sell it - but Lulu keeps it - just in case all the grandkids come at once. And you all know who the boss is around here. 


We have a 220 volt charger in our garage. When you come home - you plug it in - and forget it. You wake up in the morning and have a full charge of 350 miles. the only time I visit a gas station is for lawn mower gasoline.

The only real maintenance I have done it put air in 2 tires. They are supposed to be filled to 42 psi - and two of them lost a little air while we were away 2 months. 4 little numbers on the touch screen show the pressure in each tire. It also warns you if they are low. 

The car is easy to clean because there is no oil or gasoline in the car - no fumes - no scum. It does not clean itself - it gives me a little to do to feel important. 

My friend and son's father in law ordered one just like ours - but blue outside - with black and white seats. It is due to be delivered any day now.