12 -12. PEAR BLOSSOM TO DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA
Green Car had not charged very much when we woke up at Pear Blossom Inn, despite being plugged in all night. 110 V is too weak and too slow, so we started the generator and enjoyed a slow breakfast in the sun outside the room. It was a nice spot with palms and a view of the mountains. We find it hard to understand it is so difficult to find good 220 volt in this country with a mega consumption of power. Everywhere we see air condition, soft drink vending machines, washers, dryers, neonlights, ice machines and so on for ever. And power-lines overhead. But how do we get access to all this power? It is as if it is locked away or diluted. After a late-day charging- and eating-break we continued on the freeways down the mountain and into Los Angeles. A breath-taking ocean of light engulfed us. Ida kept an eye on the GPS and the map as we descended into this crazy city. Late somewhere in a suburb we stopped for power at a gas-station. But we have never in any country got power from a gas-station - and neither did it work here. Again the generator was the answer. We sat in the car and listened to a crime-novel and lost track of the time. We finally arrived at Sam's Family Spa around midnight in Desert Hot Springs. Warm air, quiet, palms and power.
11 - 12. TEHACHAPI TO PEAR BLOSSOM, CALIFORNIA
Mike and Debbie had arranged a meeting in the afternoon with the local EV-friends from Electro Auto Association.They were all full of ideas and some had built their own electric cars. The meeting was held in a hangar, the workshop of airplane-, wind-turbine- and EV-constructor Les King. We showed our presentation of the World Tour and Debbie had made a nice meal for all of us. The wind always blows in from the desert over the mountains of Tehachapi. Here began the US wind power-research and here is the General Electric wind turbine factorywhere Mike works. The active people of Tehachapi has over the last decade erected many hundred wind turbines and bigger and bigger ones are being erected.It was late in the afternoon before we could say goodbye. We found a little motel in Pear Blossom north of Los Angeles. It took some persuasion of the host before Hjalte was allowed to plug into an outlet in their laundry-room. It can be difficult to cover long distances in the electric car, not because of the car, it is performing faultlessly, but because the infra-structure is not yet in place.Nina
10 - 12. TAFT TO TEHACHAPI, CALIFORNIA
9-12. PASO ROBLES TO TAFT, CALIFORNIA
8 -12. MEXICAN FOOD AND HOT SPRINGS
In agricultural King City we found a tire shop where Green Car could charge. Here people speaks Spanish and the food is delicious Mexican. We had plenty of time and looked at cowboy boots, jeans, belts and hats. If had the money we would have walked out of that shop looking funny. So we only bought a pair of over-alls for Elliot in second-hand shop. Ida loves hot springs and directed us to a spring outside Paso Robles. It was dark when we arrived, the hot water was steaming, acid rock was blaring and a incredible fat man welcomed us. The water was wonderful and a little sauna in a shack was hot. Everything else looked like a junkyard. We were free to camps as we liked and could plug in Green Car. Unfortunately the electricity was weak and we only had 20% power in the morning.
7 -12. HALF MOON BAY TO SANTA CRUZ
Ida drove 56-60 m/h on the freeway to see how far the car would go - around 1 mile per % charge. But for sure the car has power for much higher speeds. However we conserve power to get maximum range. Again we had to spend time finding plugs in hardware stores - America uses so encredible many different plugs. We also got time to buy bright X-mas-lights and sent a parcel with souvenirs home from Half Moon post office. Lunch was on a high hill with a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean. The coastal road curved up and down, eating a lot of power and we got stranded on a dark road. We pulled out the generator and made it to a RV-park. Green Car now got power enough for the rolling houses. 240 Volt!
6 - 12. WE ARE ON THE ROAD TO NEW YORK
It is like we have got a daily routine here in San Francisco. This morning Ida and I washed clothes and hang them up to dry on a string in front af the cars. Then we walked over to a shopping mall near the trailer park and got grocceries while Hjalte was on the phone with Soeren back in Denmark. In the afternoon we met with members of Electro Auto Association, the key grass-roots organisation for promoting and practical use of electric vehicles. Very nice people with many stores and experiences to share with us about the not always easy struggle to pave the way for electric vehicles in the world’s no 1 car country. Some of the guys had used electric cars and motorbikes for 20-30 years. They do not think the great break-through for EVs just around the corner in America. But there are many EV-enthusiasts in California and all over the USA. Rain poured down on the 50 miles back to Trailer Haven. An endless stream of red and white carlights sparkled when I drove the cart home through darkness and rain. Tomorrow we drop off the big RV and continue in Gereen Car. There is a long way to New York! WE ARE NOW UP-DATING THE BLOG - STAY TUNED! Hjalte
5 - 12. WE MEET THE ELECTRIC PEOPLE
This afternoon we had the first meeting with Electro Auto Association. They had gathered at very short notice and waited for us at an airfield near San Jose. Very nice people with a lot of experience and stories to tell. Several had driven electric cars or motorbikes for twenty years. They do not think a major break-through for EVs are just around the corner. But there are many EV-friends in California and around the US. Thety said jokingly that if you want to make a small fortune with electric cars you just have to start with a big fortune! Rain hammered down all 50 kms back to Trailer Haven. A never-ending stream of white and red lights sparkled when we drove home. Tomorrow we will drop off the big RV and start our continental trek in Green Car. There is a long way to New York.
4 - 12. GREEN CAR CHARGING
After charging a whole night the batteries had gone up from 13% til 78%. Not very impressive, so we have to find plugs that can handle more amps. After a test packing of the car we all four boarded Green Car. Hjalte drove and I was sitting in the back together with little Elliot, that had got his own auto-chair. While we were driving Ida navigated us through the maze of freeways with her computer and the satellite-antenna from Thrane & Thrane. We have really missed our mobile internet-access from Inmarsat the days we have been waiting for Green Car. It is still mild here in California so we decided to camp as long as the weather stays fine. So we drove up to a outdoor-shop in Berkeley where I got a really warm sleeping bag og Ida bought a mattress. The rest of the camping-gear is still in the car, last used in the Gobi desert. Nina