“I got my car two weeks before I adopted my daughter and they were both life-changing events.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Nonie
- Car in Question: 2006 Toyota Prius
- Spotted at: Frick Park, 7227 Reynolds Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15208
- Odometer: 64,253
- Car’s Nickname: Mr. Reliable
Q: Welcome to Defend Your Ride Pittsburgh! Tell us about your Toyota Prius. What is its main use?
A: I drive it everywhere unless I walk. I don’t ride a bike. I love my car. I’ve never liked a car more than this! I’ve been waiting for electric cars to come on the market and this was the next best thing.
Q: You mean you couldn’t buy an electric car in 2005? I thought they came out with electric cars quite a while ago.
A: GM and Toyota had leased out electric cars 10 years ago and took them back and crushed them. Ten percent of the electric cars were sold. I actually have a friend who bought one and he is now in charge of a research initiative on electric cars.
Q: Why did they crush the cars? That seems absurd!
A: It was absurd. There is a great documentary that describes the politics behind the decision to destroy this new technology entitled “Who Killed the Electric Car?” It features funerals processions that protesters performed for the cars that were crushed.
Q: Do you think that electric cars are gaining more ground now that the gas prices are so inflated?
A: I do. I predict things are really going to change in the car industry. Now car companies make more on after sales service than the sale price. The equation would be different with electric cars. My friend who bought one 10 years ago has only had to replace the tires and wiper blades.
Q: Do you think Pittsburgh will become the new Detroit of electric cars?
A: It’s possible. Carnegie Mellon runs an electric car garage in Pittsburgh and creates electric cars using robotic technology and coverts cars as well. They plan to revolutionize urban commuting.
Q: Do you think an electric car can hold up as well in bad weather as an SUV with a big V8?
A: Before buying my current car, I preferred a manual transmission because I thought they performed better in the snow. But my Prius has proven that theory wrong. It has been phenomenal in all kinds of weather.
Q: What is the longest trip you have taken?
A: The first trip I took in was from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh. The longest trip I’ve taken is from Pittsburgh to Minneapolis to Denver and back to Minneapolis, then back to Pittsburgh and then to New Jersey.
Q: It sounds like you travel a lot. What do you like to listen to in the car?
A: I have a young daughter, so we listen to a lot of CD books.
Q: Do you have any favorites?
A: Any Harry Potter books are great. Neil Diamond’s “The Graveyard Book” and “Inkheart” are also two of our favorites.
Q: Do you have any special memories with your car?
A: I got my car two weeks before I adopted my daughter and they were both life-changing events.
Photos and interview by Katherine Brown Sutton
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