07/21/08 — Going electric

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Going electric

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 21, 2008 1:40 PM

Susan Crenshaw, owner of Health Habit, has had an electric car for nearly four years.

She and husband Bob actually won the vehicle as part of a company promotion and didn't drive it much right away.

Electric Car

News-Argus/Mitch Loeber

Susan and Bob Cresnshaw often drive this battery powered Corbin Sparrow to work at their business, Health Habit to save on gas.

That was before gas prices soared.

These days, she laughs, "It's a lot of fun to drive by the gas station."

The 100 percent electric Corbin Sparrow is a single-person vehicle that runs on batteries.

It's supposed to have a range of 60 miles, but Mrs. Crenshaw hasn't put it to the test yet.

"The most I would be on it would be 40 miles on a trip," she said. "I try to use it as a commuter, which is what it was designed for."

Her trek from Rosewood to the store on Spence Avenue is short enough not to challenge the car's battery, she said.

"The battery needs to be charged up whenever I get to work. It's not like a cell phone battery where you let it run down completely," she said. "It works better if you charge it after every trip."

Corbin has since gone out of business -- they only made about 200 of the vehicles, Mrs. Crenshaw said -- so her car pretty rare.

There are other variations on the market, however.

"A lot of people are buying new ones from Myers NMG, as in 'no more gas,'" she said.

She belongs to an online group, though, comprised of other Sparrow owners. They often compare notes, ask questions and help each other.

"It's not the kind of thing I can take to a regular mechanic," she explained.

Fortunately, she said, she has had relatively few problems with the vehicle.

"It took me awhile to really start driving it. It worked out when our residence moved, I wouldn't really drive it like I wanted," she said.

When she does drive it, though, she is prepared to be noticed. Sometimes it's people coming into the store to ask questions, other times it's being watched on the highway.

"People follow me, they don't even pass," she said.

The car will go up to 70 miles an hour, she noted.

"I have no problem accelerating," she said. "A lot of people get behind me and probably think it's going to be like a moped."

The only down side is the car does not have air conditioning, although it does have heat.

Even so, she noted, "It still remains a lot of fun to drive," and perhaps just as important right now, it's cheap.