My apologizes: I had the need for speed

Published 11:46 pm Saturday, June 25, 2011

For those driving along Selma Avenue last Tuesday at about 4 p.m., I want to offer my apologies. But, in my defense, it was my first time behind the wheel of a $135,000 sports car that had enough power to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than four seconds.

In short, I wanted to make sure that claim was true.

Last Tuesday, I and a few dozen other lucky individuals had the chance to drive an all-electric Tesla Roadster, a car that looked like it was going 50 miles per hour standing still.

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The experience was made possible by WDXX, the Times-Journal and Alabama Power, who owns the car and uses it to tout the advancements in all-electric vehicles and the future the technology has in this country.

Throughout the short drive, down Selma Avenue, through Old Live Oak Cemetery and down Dallas Avenue, I was amazed at the power the electric car produced. It was a far cry from the last all-electric vehicle I drove, which was a golf cart at Cambridge Ridge in Greenville.

Let’s be honest, the Tesla would have easily beaten the golf cart in the quarter mile, but I doubt the marshals would have allowed the Tesla on the 18th fairway. So, which one is more practical in my mind is still up for debate.

What was proven to me though is that electric cars and trucks are in our future, and today’s technology is making these vehicles affordable. True, the Tesla is far outside my price range, but the cars and trucks in development are much more affordable and should play a key role in breaking our country’s dependence on foreign oil.

Thanks again to those who made such an experience possible, and again, I apologize to those on Dallas Avenue for the maneuvers of “that orange thing.” It was my first time.