2 August 2011
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa–Engineers are drawn to electric cars for two main reasons: They’re fantastic design challenges and (two) they can go really fast.
More than a decade ago, I rode around with EE Greg Hanssen down in Orange County, Calif., as he showed off his EV1. I was stunned at how fast it accelerated. Then, a few weeks back, I got to ride along in the Illuminati 7.
The Chevy Volt has nice acceleration but it’s no EV1. And neither car is a Tesla, which perhaps states the obvious.
Before we began this trip, a reader, Greg Barnett of Rockwell Collins, invited us to stop by Rockwell Collins and tour the facility. A week or so later, he followed up by saying, “It gets more interesting.”
Turns out, an engineering colleague down the hall, Keith Bornbach, owns a Tesla. Talk about journalistic catnip.
After we toured the Rockwell Collins facility, Keith and Greg and I walked through the parking lot to behold his fire-engine-red Tesla roadster. I was surprised at how small the car is (as you can see from the photo inset).
That’s when Keith said, “Let’s go for a ride.” Twist my arm.