Monday, September 1, 2014

Odd Looks and Thumbs-Up

I can tell that the Mitsubishi i-MiEV has not become a sales hit here in the U.S.A. the way that it has in Europe and Japan.  Nearly every time I drive somewhere, I get odd looks from people trying to figure out what the curious purple car is driving by.  (I call it the “electric grape”, but one friend calls it the “purple bean”.)  Some people smile once they figure out that the car is electric.  Some point discretely from within the privacy of their own vehicle.  Others never get that far in the thought process.  Usually, the larger the vehicle, the more puzzled the look on the driver.  I once stopped into a Starbucks as a lifted Ram 2500 turbo-diesel was pulling up.  I had a brief chat with the driver about the car before returning to the road.  I have to admit that the difference in mass between our two vehicles was a little frightening.  Another time, I had parked and run into a grocery store.  By the time I came out, another i-MiEV owner had parked his car next to mine.  For me, that was a Kodak moment.  (Too bad Kodak got out of the Kodak-moment business.)
A Kodak Moment happened when I returned to my car after shopping.
But of all the interactions I have had with fellow drivers and roadside gawkers, the most memorable happened within the first two weeks of getting the car.  It was a breezy, rainless day after Christmas.  The sun was lingering just above the hilltops, threatening to darken the area soon.  I was driving up a fairly busy residential street when I passed a fellow working in his yard.  He must have seen my car approaching (because it’s really hard to hear it) and had time to check it out.  As I drove past, he gave me a big thumbs up of approval.  This one reaction is probably the most gratifying I have experienced to date.

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