The E-10 Project
Restoring our 1995 Solectria E-10 Pickup

The Story So Far...

About a year ago, our ICE van (1992 Plymouth Voyager) started really acting up, despite meticulous maintenance. Passing a truck in Illinois at 70 MPH in driving rain, the windshield wipers broke at the hub, flapping uselessly in the wind and rendering us blind. That was fun. Obscure things like the manifold air pressure (MAP) sensor went out, stranding us on the highway in Chicago. Next came the idle speed motor. Then another MAP sensor. Then the fuel pump. Twice. Then the fuel pressure regulator, which failed on the highway, rupturing the fuel filter with excess pressure, dumping nearly 18 gallons of gas on the highway AS WE DROVE (mysteriously, the gas gauge still showed us being nearly full, even as the engine sputtered and died in the fast lane in Milwaukee at rush hour). Then the catalytic converter decided to self destruct in Missouri, once again on the highway, sending chunks of its innards into the muffler, choking the engine. You get the idea, it just wasn't reliable transportation (actually, downright dangerous).

We first thought of converting it to electric, as we used it for various hauling duties, but then we found out from Solectria that one of their E-10 (converted Chevy S-10) trucks was languishing in Boulder City, Nevada, where a US Bureau of Reclamation office is located. I called the custodian of the vehicle, who told me that the batteries weren't holding a charge, and they were considering disposing of the vehicle, possibly by donating it to a local high school's automotive program. I offered to buy it from them. He told me that the truck's destiny was up to the General Services Administration, which would decide what to do with it -- most likely, he said, it would go up for a sealed-bid auction. I asked when that might be, he told me there was no way to tell -- "the wheels of government turn slowly".

I signed up with a GSA auction email notification system, which sends out lists of property that the government is getting rid of. Months went by as I waited for the truck to appear, wading through hundreds of lots of obsolete EDP equipment, wrecked cars, aircraft parts, etc.

While I was waiting, Solectria's Midwest rep, Jeff Simpson, told me he was heading out to Las Vegas (30 miles from Boulder City) and could check out the condition of the truck for me -- I accepted his offer, and he called back a couple of days later with a terrific report: the truck was actually functional after a few minutes of charging, and in great shape. I thanked him and continued to wait for the auction notice.

Finally came notice of the auction with the truck, and I sent in my bid, hoping nobody else would realize what this truck was -- Generally, I think most people bidding on these items are looking to get the items for next to nothing. When I got the notice that I was the high bidder, I started making plans to go out there and get it. Boulder City is 1800+ driving miles from Port Washington, Wisconsin. I arranged for a 15-foot Penske rental truck with car carrier and got a one-way plane ticket to Vegas.

The best part of this whole trip came when I sent a message on the EV list asking if there were any Las Vegas EV'ers who might be able to help me load the truck. Arriving in Las Vegas on Thursday May 18, I was met at the gate by Bill Kuehl, Jan Himber and Al Sawyer, who were holding up "Electric Vehicle Owner" signs. They got my attention.

We drove to the Penske office and picked up the truck and car carrier, and headed out to Boulder City. Bill and I swapped EV stories on the way.

The E-10 was located in the parking lot of a nondescript building.  The only thing that gave away its true nature was the large "SOLECTRIA" lettering on the tailgate.  We had to wait for the custodian of the truck to get back from lunch, and after signing some paperwork, the E-10 was officially ours!  Unfortunately, when the truck went up for auction, they disconnected the hardwired power cord for the E-10 from its electrical panel and could not plug the truck in to recharge, so the batteries were totally flat.  No problem, we could push it onto the car carrier if we set it up downhill from the E-10!  I pulled the Penske truck through the gate and placed it in the proper position, and we pushed the truck out of its parking space and with a little "encouragement", we got it in place on the car carrier, thanks to Bill's expert steering!

With the truck loaded up, we headed to a casino on the way back to Vegas, where we grabbed a quick buffet lunch.  I would have liked to stay longer, but I had reservations at a Best Western in Grand Junction, Colorado, and knew I was in for a pretty long drive, so I said goodbye to Bill, Jan and Al and headed off.

I won't bore you with details of the drive, but it was... interesting.  The scenery out West was beautiful, and driving through the continental divide in a big truck towing a trailer isn't something I'll want to do again soon.  It was nice, however, as I was cruising through Vail, Colorado, a motorcycle passed me and as I looked over, the rider gave me a big thumbs-up, obviously referring to the EV on my trailer!  The next day, not long after I rolled into Nebraska, a guy in a red hatchback with a couple of mountain bikes on the back slowed down alongside, and when I looked over at him he pointed back to the EV and gave me an emphatic thumbs-up.  It was great to see people who know what an EV is, and it made my day both times it happened.

I arrived back home in Port Washington, Wisconsin on Saturday, May 20, after about 30 hours of driving, and 1830 miles.  I was glad to be home -- After almost a year of waiting, the E-10 was ours.

Initial Checkout, First Drive

Once home, we plugged in the E-10 so that we could get some charge into it in order to get it off the car carrier and into the garage.  Jeff Simpson had said that the truck was functional after they charged it for a short time, so I plugged it in for a couple of hours while relaxing and grabbing some dinner.  After letting it get a fair amount of charge, I removed the safety chains and front-tire straps, climbed in and switched it on.  The power steering motor and brake vacuum pumps came to life and I put it into reverse and pressed the accelerator -- It backed easily off the ramp!

Because we had no place to put the Penske rental truck, we left the E-10 out in front of the house overnight.

The next day, we started shuffling the various vehicles around, and I confidently backed the E-10 around the circle drive and started to pull it forward toward the garage -- It was sluggish, and didn't quite make it into the garage before losing power.  I had driven it a total of perhaps 150 feet on a couple of hours' charge -- not good, but then, we knew the battery pack had problems.  I plugged it in for about 15 minutes, which gave it enough power to pull into the garage.  I didn't bother plugging it in further; it was obvious that the batteries had problems and should be examined prior to attempting a full charge.

A couple of days passed as I played catch-up with my normal work, then I finally got into the garage to start checking out the truck in detail.  The first item on the agenda was to open the battery boxes and see which batteries were in bad shape.  The E-10 has a hinged bed, which is terrific.  You remove four bolts underneath the front end of the bed and lift, and the bed tilts back to reveal the main battery box and motor controllers.  I disconnected all the controller wiring harnesses, removed the battery box lid bolts and lifted the lid.

The batteries (all 18)  looked good -- no electrolyte leakage, nothing out of the ordinary, so I opened the secondary battery box, which sits under the front hood, and contains 6 batteries.  They looked OK as well.  I drew a map of the batteries and started taking basic voltage measurements.  Right off the bat, I found a couple of questionable voltages on three batteries, but they weren't terribly out of line, so I plugged in the truck and started a charge cycle.

I knew some of the batteries weren't good, so I started taking a new set of voltage measurements, this time under charge.  One of the three batteries that I suspected showed a charge voltage of 25 volts (much higher than the usual 14 or so)!  I felt the battery and noted that it was also getting warm, so I unplugged the charger.

The 24 batteries in the E-10 are configured in two strings of 12, so I identified the string that the hot battery was in and disconnected the string from the battery pack.  I had no extra batteries to substitute for the bad one, so I decided to proceed with only one string and see what I could see in the other string.  I resumed charging and monitored the second string closely, both for voltage and temperature problems.  It seemed OK, though battery number 9 was a slightly higher charge voltage.  Charging terminated after a couple of hours with a "Charge Complete" light on the dashboard.  I checked voltages once again all around, and though battery number 9 was a little low (around .3V) I figured it was worth a try to see if the truck would drive.  I buttoned up the battery box, reconnected the controllers, lowered the bed and called Elizabeth to see if she wanted to take a spin to the store on the other end of town (about two miles away).  She grabbed some shopping bags and I grabbed the cell phone, and we were off!

As we headed out the driveway, I was watching the voltmeter on the center console, noting the voltage drop as I accelerated down Grand Avenue toward Lake Michigan.  It made me a bit nervous, but I was expecting it with the marginal batteries.  We cruised through downtown Port Washington, turning up Franklin Street toward our first real test: St. Mary's hill (named for the 1880's-vintage church that sits atop the hill).  After stopping for a pedestrian in the crosswalk, we started to climb the hill.  I noticed a distinct drop in power!  "Uh-oh", I said.  Sure enough, we were losing power.  I pulled over to the side and let a car pass, but kept going up the hill, hoping to make it to Peiffer's service station, a little beyond the top of the hill.  Miraculously, we made it into the parking lot, where we pulled up to the building and parked.  We hopped out and went in to see mechanic Al Rausch and owner Don Peiffer.

We told them we were test-driving our new EV truck and that we had a bad battery, and would need a tow home.  They came out and we gave them the nickel tour of the truck, then their tow truck driver hooked us up and towed us home.  It was our first tow ever for one of our EVs, kind of embarrassing but not totally unexpected (I had, after all, brought the cell phone).  I drove the truck back into the garage and started reopening the battery box -- it was time for more troubleshooting...

Trust Your Feelings, Luke...

Standard procedure for checking out a bad battery pack is to get the vehicle in the shop, turn the headlights on high beam and the electric heat on high.  This puts the batteries under a load so that you can see which one is bad.  Well, as I said earlier, battery number 9 was a little low after charging, and I suspected then that it was marginal at best.  As it turned out, calling it marginal was being generous -- I checked its voltage with the meter and it was down to around four volts!  Lesson learned: trust your instincts and test the batteries you suspect are bad before driving with them!

It was a no-brainer to decide to pull battery number 9 and replace it with another battery from the disconnected first string.  I started charging up the second string with the bad battery in place, and pulled a good candidate battery from the first string.  I placed it on a trickle charge so that it would be at the level of the other batteries when I inserted it into the string and called it a night.

The next morning, I removed battery number 9 from the pack and swapped in the replacement, which was nicely topped off.  I buttoned up the battery box and called Elizabeth for another test drive.  This time, I resolved, I'd stay close to home until I knew how the pack was performing.

We headed out the driveway and I headed west on Grand Avenue, which is uphill.  I figured that if we started losing power, it would be best to be somewhere we could coast downhill in order to get home!  We went a couple of blocks and I kept a close eye on the voltmeter and ammeter.  There was still some voltage sag, but it recovered after letting up on the accelerator.  After driving about a half mile, I decided to try taking a chance and driving a bit further -- and downhill.  We turned south and stopped at a friend's house (Elizabeth was optimistic this trip, and brought a couple of plants that she had promised).  We dropped off the plants and headed off again, this time toward the self-storage facility where we store our summer gardening stuff during the winter months (yes, I was being optimistic myself -- I had brought the keys!)

We pulled into SafeHarbor Storage and loaded up the truck with quite a bit of stuff -- buckets of gravel, tables, a big umbrella, you name it.  The truck had done well so far, now it was going to do some real work.  We took off again, heading home on the 45-MPH highway.  I was watching the ammeter to see if there was any drop-off in maximum power output, but so far there was none! We pulled into the driveway and unloaded the items, looked at each other and I said, "where else can we go?"  We decided to make a run to the vet's office, where we needed to pick up some special dog food for the Huskies, so I tossed the keys to Elizabeth.

One note to make here, as of this point, the speedometer wasn't working, so we were being very careful not to get any speeding tickets.  This worked out OK, since we weren't wanting to push the batteries that hard, either.  Elizabeth made the run to the vet, I grabbed the dog food and she drove us back.  On the way, I asked her to floor it so I could see what the ammeter was showing.  She did, and the amps didn't quite make it to 100 -- We were starting to see a drop-off in power.  It was back to the barn for us, but it was a completely successful test drive.  We weren't sure exactly how far we had gone, but it was around 10 miles.  Not bad for a five-year-old battery pack that had been sitting, uncharged, for who knows how long.

We had a functional truck -- The next item on my to-do list was to get the speedometer working.

Demos and Troubleshooting

That evening, a couple of neighbors stopped by to pick up some plants we had started for them, and their daughter asked for a ride in the truck.  Not one to pass up an opportunity to show off one of our EVs, I said "Sure!" and we hopped into the cab.  As I pulled out of the garage, I realized it was starting to get dark, so I turned on the headlights.  The car's warning beeper started up, as if I had a door open.  I turned the lights off, and it stopped.  Hmmm.  Another mystery.  Since I needed the headlights for safety, I apologized to my passenger and turned the lights back on -- We went around the block with an annoying beep in our ears, but she was impressed by the truck's performance.

The next day, I decided to start looking into the remaining problems with the truck -- The speedometer and the air conditioning, plus the newly-discovered headlight beep.  First, though, I called Solectria and began the process of ordering a new set of batteries for the truck.  I had originally intended to replace the E-10's batteries with higher-capacity nickel-cadmium battery modules, but there was one problem -- Saft, one of the primary NiCD manufacturers, had a minimum 6-month lead time on NiCD battery orders.  Given that kind of delay, I decided to stick with lead-acid batteries.  Solectria could have a new set of those sent out in short order, so I went ahead and called to set that up.  Since the E-10 didn't have a battery thermal management system installed, I also ordered one of those.  No point in having a nice new set of batteries if we weren't going to treat them right!  While I was on the phone with Janice (one of Solectria's technicians), I asked about the speedometer problem.  It's an electronic speedometer, which means there's no old-fashioned mechanical cable to the speedometer as in older cars -- It operates from an electronic signal from somewhere.  She said that I should check a couple of wires under the center console, which were hooked into one of the motor boxes on one end and the truck's computer on the other.

I got off the phone and jacked up the rear end of the truck so that the rear wheels were off the ground.  This way, I could set the wheels in motion and see what the speedometer signal wire was doing.  I opened up the passenger side kick panel and unbolted the center console; all the wires looked OK.  I hooked a meter up to the speedometer wire and pressed the accelerator, and saw a fluctuating voltage on the wire -- Apparently, the signal was there but the truck wasn't doing anything with it.  Then I started thinking -- The E-10's instrument cluster consisted of the speedometer, a voltmeter, and three gauges that had been removed (fuel level, oil pressure and temperature).  I had thought it odd that the voltmeter needle was still there but didn't register anything.  I started to put two and two together:  The headlights caused the warning beeper to sound, as if I had turned the headlights on without the ignition on.  The voltage meter was showing nothing.  I called Janice back and reported these symptoms and asked if they sounded familiar.  She pulled our E-10's folder (apparently, Solectria keeps detailed records of each vehicle) and went through its history.  While she was doing that, I acted on a hunch and opened the fuse panel on the left side of the dashboard, and looked through the fuses.  I saw one marked GAUGES and pulled it.  It was blown!

Could it be that a blown fuse caused all the problems I had been seeing?  There was only one way to find out -- I took the spare 10A fuse and plugged it in, and looked at the instrument cluster.  The voltmeter showed a normal voltage!  I stepped on the accelerator.  The E-10 hummed with power as the rear wheels started turning, and THE SPEEDOMETER MOVED!  And as a final test, I turned on the headlights.  NO BEEP!  All three problems were solved with one simple fuse!  Just for the heck of it, I pulled all the other fuses and made sure they were intact.  They were.

I told Janice what I had found and thanked her for her time, then emailed her a detailed report so she could add it to the truck's folder.  I lowered the truck to the ground and took it for a short spin around the block to check it out.  All was working properly.  Awesome.

The air conditioner was the last big problem, but it could wait for another day.  I had work to do around the house and in the office, and the truck was basically functional and safe from the specter of speeding tickets!  Over the next couple of days, we used the truck to pick up several hundred pounds of traffic bond (a crushed stone product) at the local concrete plant for a garden project, and ran a lot of garden debris to the local recycling center.  Even if it did have limited range with its old battery pack, the E-10 was proving its worth around our home!

The batteries cometh!

On July 12, Consolidated Freightways called to say the E-10's batteries were here!  They also mentioned that they were on a pallet and weighed over 1400 pounds!  Hmmm, I don't have a forklift, and I wasn't crazy about having to carry almost a ton of batteries a hundred feet from the street the house, so I thought about it a minute -- The E-10's payload is listed at 700 pounds.  If I removed the useless second string of batteries from the truck, that would give me around 700 pounds of additional payload, or 1400 total!  I removed the disconnected string of batteries and waited for the truck to arrive.

On July 14, the E-10's new batteries arrived, right on schedule.  When the semi truck arrived, I drove the E-10 down to the street and backed it up to the rear of the semi trailer and started unloading the batteries, with the driver's help.  As we transferred the batteries, I filled the driver in on the truck, how far it could go, etc.  He seemed really interested in the E-10, and wasn't aware that such a thing existed.  Once the batteries were fully loaded, I gave him a quick tour of the truck, showing him the motors, controls and under the hood.  As he drove off, I pulled the truck back into the driveway with its load of batteries, and drove back to the garage area.  The truck handled the load with no complaints.  The photo below shows the truck with its load of 24 batteries and the thermal management heating mats (rolled-up orange material at right).

As we were in the middle of a remodeling frenzy, and I had office work to do, I simply unloaded the new batteries into the garage until I could get around to building up the battery monitoring wiring harness I needed.  The E-10 had been working fine so far on the single string of batteries, so there was no hurry to get the new batteries installed...

Installing the Batteries

The battery installation was completed over a three-day period, finishing up on August 7.  This procedure consisted of disconnecting and removing the old batteries, installing the battery monitoring system wiring harnesses, installing the new thermal management system and finally inserting the new batteries and connecting them.

The biggest job in this procedure was adding the parts necessary for the battery monitoring system.  To do this, I had to add a 3/4" flexible, watertight conduit from the front battery box to the rear battery box, then add two additional short runs of conduit from the rear box to the cab.  There would be two separate wiring harnesses involved, one for each of the strings of batteries in the pack.  Once the conduit was in place, I fished the wires through to the cab, leaving the loose ends in the battery boxes, to be connected to the batteries later.  With that done, I vacuumed out the battery boxed in preparation for the installation of the thermal management system.

The Solectria thermal management system is a set of flexible orange heater mats that lie underneath the batteries in order to warm them in cold weather.  A pair of wires run from the mats to a control box mounted on top of the batteries.  When installing the mats, care needs to be taken to ensure that no debris is lying underneath or on top of the mats.  This could damage the mats.  Solectria provided special plastic sheets to be placed above and below the heater mats for proper protection.  Once these were in place, battery installation could begin.

I had taken photos and made sketches of the original battery layout, so there was no guesswork involved when it came to inserting the new set of batteries.  It was simply a matter of lugging the individual batteries out of the garage and lowering them carefully into the truck.

Finally came the most important step -- making all the connections.  Using a pair of insulated wrenches so that there was no danger of shorting two battery terminals together, I made all the connections and tightened them securely, using new stainless steel hardware and lock washers.  I double-checked all the connections before closing up the battery boxes and reconnecting the motor controllers.

Once the truck was buttoned up, I reconnected the main negative connectors and main service disconnect under the hood and plugged it in.  The charger fired up, and the amp-hour counter started running backwards.  Success!

Breaking In

In the days since the new pack was installed, we've been running the truck at a low power setting, not exceeding 20Ah of power use on each trip.  This is in line with Solectria's recommendations, and should help break-in the new battery pack for maximum life.

I also added an option that I'd been thinking about for some time, a set of battery equalizers.  These are intended to keep all the batteries at the same state of charge so that no one battery will be a "weak link" in the pack.  I decided to use PowerCheq modules from Power Designers of Madison, Wisconsin.  I had heard about the PowerCheq modules last year, and after talking to several people who had used them, decided to give them a try.

The modules are about 2 1/4" square and a little over an inch high, with three wires that connect to two series-connected batteries. The module detects voltage differences between the two batteries and shuffles up to 2A of current around to keep them at the same level. For a battery pack with n batteries, you will have n-1 PowerCheq modules, so my setup with two 12-battery strings required 11 modules per string, 22 modules total.

When I installed the new battery pack, I also added a 16-gauge wiring harness to each string. The harness has 13 wires, one to each negative terminal in the pack, with one extra on the last battery's positive terminal. Each wire has a 3A fuse mounted next to the battery terminal it's connected to for safety. Each string's harness terminates in a 15-pin (3X5) AMP socket in the cab of the truck.

I mounted the PowerCheq modules on two 9-inch square boxes using the self-stick heavy-duty "velcro"-like pads supplied, and hooked them up to terminal strips inside the boxes, which in turn run to 15-pin AMP plugs and sockets. Having the boxes equipped with plugs and sockets enables me to connect my voltmeter box to see what the batteries' voltages are without having to disconnect the PowerCheq boxes.


I hooked the two boxes up to the connectors in the cab and immediately the PowerCheq modules went to work, their green LEDs flickering as they started shuffling current around. I watched in fascination as the battery voltages gradually fell into line. Checking voltages on battery 1 and battery 12 after the unit had been hooked up for a while, they were within 0.1 volt.

The PowerCheq modules work both during charge and discharge, and it's interesting to see how they do their job. I noticed them working pretty hard when I was coming down a hill and using the regen braking -- The ones on the positive end of the pack were doing a lot of work as the regen was putting a lot of current back into the pack.

Update: May 27, 2001

It's been almost ten months since I got the E-10 back in operating condition, and it's fulfilled all our expectations.  The truck's bed was the original painted metal and had some pretty severe scratches in it.  This probably wasn't a big deal in the dry Nevada desert, but here in Wisconsin, where we use a lot of salt on the roads in winter, it's not a good idea to have that kind of bare metal showing!  So last September we agreed to bring the truck to an alternative-fuel vehicle (AFV) showcase in Milwaukee, about a 31-mile drive from Port Washington.  The trick is, driving that distance means we need recharging power for the return trip.  No problem, the fairgrounds agreed to hook up a 220V power panel for us!  The best part of the deal is that Line-X, a spray-in bed liner company, is only about a mile from the fairgrounds, and Jeff, the owner, agreed to let us plug in there as well!

So the plan went like this:

Ah, a great plan.  Unfortunately, plans have a way of unraveling!

Everything started out great.  Two days before the event, I took the Insight to the fairgrounds and spoke to the AFV people about the plans.  They showed me where the power panel would be hooked up, in the middle of the racetrack.  It looked great.  I then drove over to Line-X with the power cord I had brought, so that we could hook it up to their power panel for use the next day.

I got there and met Jeff, who took me into the back of the facility, where all their power panels were.  I got out my voltmeter and looked at their outlets (uh-oh, twist-n-lock) -- They were on 480V three-phase power!  As it turned out, they had another power panel with plain old single-phase 220V power (whew!) and Jeff wired up the cord.  I finished up details on the bed liner installation and ordered a tonneau cover (for better aerodynamics).  They figured the tonneau would be in the next morning -- excellent!

The next morning, I took off first and ran some errands, then went over to Line-X.  Jeff told me the tonneau cover was expected to show up later that morning.  Not long after I arrived, Elizabeth drove up in the E-10.  I had given her a map with the best, low-power-consumption route on it, and she made it with no problem.  I was especially impressed with her driving efficiency -- She drove the 31 miles using only 24 amp-hours, an excellent job!  We showed Jeff where to plug it in, gave him a quick tour of the truck, and headed home.

The next morning, we got our EV materials loaded into the Force and headed out toward Line-X.  About 15 miles along, the car started acting sluggish.  I was concerned -- This was NOT a good sign.  I knew we wouldn't make it another 15 miles to Line-X, nor could I make it the 15 miles home!  We started discussing options, and decided to stop at our friend Roger's office in Grafton, about 7 miles back the way we had come.  Driving as carefully as I could so as not to waste any power, we made it back to the office.  Roger wasn't there that day, so we called him and asked if we could plug in somewhere and get a ride home.  No problem, he came right over (what a guy!) -- but he had no place for us to plug in outside.  Luckily, next to his office is a service station with an outlet on one of the light poles -- They were kind enough to let us plug in.  Roger gave us a ride home, and we threw our EV materials into the Insight and headed to Line-X.  I was disappointed to not have two EVs at the AFV symposium as I had promised, but figured one was better than nothing.

We got there and the truck was parked outside with its beautiful new bed liner, but no tonneau.  Hmmm.  I looked in the cab to get a peek at the amp-hour counter -- It was reset to zero, showing a full charge!  YES!  I went in to talk to Jeff, he said the tonneau would probably be in the next morning, they had just missed being on that day's shipment.  Not knowing how easy a tonneau cover was to install, I arranged to bring the truck back over after the day's demos at the fairgrounds and have them charge it overnight, then we'd pick the truck up the next morning.  Jeff agreed (I must say, Line-X's Jeff and Katie bent over backwards to help us out.  This whole thing wouldn't have been possible without their support).

We drove both vehicles the mile to the fairgrounds, pulled into the race track infield and located the power panel.  We plugged in for the heck of it and waited for the other vehicles and attendees to arrive.  We wound up giving a lot of rides around the track that day, impressing everyone who rode in the E-10 with its acceleration.  We were restricted to 55MPH on the track, but it was a lot of fun.  We burned off a lot of amp-hours, giving each person who rode with us a two-lap run.

When we were finished, we drove over to Line-X and Jeff took the keys.  I gave him a quick tour of the Insight, which was turning some heads.  I thanked him again for his generosity and we headed home.  The next morning, we returned to pick up the fully-charged truck and tonneau cover and headed home.  Elizabeth did even better with her driving efficiency on the return trip -- She's a heck of an EV driver!

Since then, the truck has become an indispensable part of our "fleet".  We have a huge garden and the truck is constantly hauling supplies home or debris to the recycling center.  Now that the Force is in the garage getting upgraded to NiCD batteries, the E-10 is our primary transportation.  FYI, I haven't driven the Insight in about three weeks.

More to come...

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This page last edited August 27, 2005