Westporters see bright future for electric cars
A $12,000 electric car drew the curious Friday morning outside Bobby Q's restaurant on Main Street in Westport.
Cirino, a Sunrise Rotarian, recently told the club about the bright future for electric cars. In fact, he's a driving force behind Westport's decision to install charging stations for electric cars at the Metro-North Railroad station on Railroad Place. In the future, as Cirino sees it, electric cars would be plugged into ports, a.k.a. electrical outlets, at the train station.
Papa said has been using his white plastic electric car for short hops since 2007. It seats two in front and two in back. A big white plastic trunk on a platform is attached to the rear.
"I charge it up by plugging into an electrical outlet at home," he said. "The car goes 25 miles on a charge. The top speed is 25 miles an hour." Papa said he transports his three kids in the four-wheeled vehicle with no complaints from them.
From the front, the vehicle looks something like a giant insect -- two fenderless front wheels resemble the eyes, a light bumper like zipped lips and, in the middle, is a minuscule hood covering the small electric engine. The hood is shaped like the beak of a hawk.
When Papa lifted the hood, the electrical motor inside appeared to resemble the smallest gasoline-powered lawn mower engine. Of course, there is no gas tank, just an electric cord that ended with the plug. The cord was a spittin' image of one for an electric sweeper.
The passenger compartment, meanwhile, is tall. It looked big enough to provide headroom to spare for a 6-footer. The doors are wide, making entry without crouching a breeze.
"I'm showing off my car in Westport because from what I hear and read, Westport is leading the way on the electric car movement in Fairfield County by planning charging ports at the train station," said Papa, a Wall Street entrepreneur.
So how costly is the juice he uses to power the vehicle from his home electric system? Papa said his summer electric bills don't appear to be much higher than usual.
Cirino, admiring the car, said, "As I told the Sunrise Rotary Club last month, the electric car is in our future. No pollution and no foreign oil."
For now, however, Papa's car does not appear to be a threat to the traditional family sedan. It is capable of making only short jaunts around town -- round trips to the beach, church, shopping and other errands.
But since it's fenderless, those pesky fender-benders are a thing of the past.