Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Electric Car passes Emissions Testing!
What a day.
Had to get up and hitch up the ol' Metro to the S10 for an hour's drive into the city.
I misplaced one of the cotter pins for the Metro tow bar, so I used a stock one from a bin of them I had. The type where you poke them through and bend them over.
When I finally got to the Technical Center and went to unhitch the Metro, that cotter pin was long gone. I later found it on the top side of the belly pan. I would need a replacement before I towed again!
Once unhitched, I guided the Metro across the glare ice of the test center parking lot and slid right into the front and center parking space.
Heading inside, and employee grunted at me to have a seat in what looked like their lunch room. A few minutes later, I was informed that I needed to fill out the first couple lines of a particular form, and an employee asked me for my keys.
Him: "Anything special I need to drive this car?"
Me: "Put it in second, turn the key until you hear the click, and drive it."
I was also informed that, due to insurance liability, I could not come back into the car bay area until they said so.
Uh, oh. Other people driving my car, then doing who knows what with it behind my back? This could go bad....
Fortunately, I was called into the back soon after. There were lots of smiles on lots of faces.
I popped the hood and did the tour, telling of the voltage, how I used a forklift motor, the whole nine yards.
I think every employee of the building must have been through in the next few minutes. They were especially impressed with the "gas tank charging door".
My "inspection" consisted of being asked plenty of questions about the car - "How far can you go on a charge", etc. and lots of photos being taken of it.
The inspectors were friendly and helpful, including giving me some information on helping out other EVers get their emissions exemption. I was even told that there was another technical center within electric car driving range of Tom's house. He will just be able to DRIVE his NEON to the test center when the time comes!
The inspectors told me that they get all sorts of crazy things coming in there. One car they saw was simply referred to as "the Hydrogen Bomb".
We had a pretty good discussion about alternative energy and transportation. The one inspector makes his own bio-diesel, and not only DRIVES on it, but HEATS HIS HOUSE with it as well!
The other inspector invited me to be a presenter for an future Automotive Technician's club meeting.
Once I actually had the A-OK on my car, I mentioned the speeding ticket and pulled out the newspaper article. They all got a kick out of that and ran a couple photo-copies of it.
It was great that not only did I find some decent guys at the test center, but that they were also very supportive and forward thinking fellows. Kudos to them!
So it's official.
My car is licensed, registered, insured, and ready to roll. All I have to do is put that little sticker on the license plate when it comes in the mail.
In some ways, this is an end; another crazy project under my belt. Another thing saying "Can't we do better?"
So what's next? Bio-diesel, truck engine swap, renewable energy co-op? Helping friends. I know a contractor who wants to get his truck going on bio-diesel. I know a woman who wants to convert her pontoon boat to electric.
We are still working on Tom's Neon, and after that, Rich is making a scratch-built EV sports Trike.
My garage still needs rebuilding. Perhaps straw bales with a green roof?
Things are starting to look up. People are examining the world around them and want positive change, and are willing to take it into their own hands to get it.
Can one little backyard project change the world?
It's changed mine.
Thanks friends for all your support on this project.
Keep it clean and green,