The Charge Car: First Impressions on my First Ride

I didn't know what to expect for my first ride in "the charge car." It was definitely QUIET as others have reported.  It is so quiet you don't even realize when the car is running unless the driver announces that it has started. I was one of a group of teachers touring the "Electric Garage" as part of an Educational Robotics Graduate Course that was offered this summer at CMU.The Electric Garage was a sight to see in itself. It's an exhibit of the different stages of the car's development. Having a peek under the hood finding open spaces where you would expect to see the engine,  seeing an electrical outlet where the gas cap would be, and noting that this vehicle has some "junk the trunk," or batteries, made this a surreal experience.  I was in the second group of riders, so I got to see and hear the first group of riders drive away from the Electric silence.  For some reason, the Electric Garage sign made think of the "Electric Slide" but we didn't do any line dancing while we were waiting for the car to return. You do need to be alert when the car is backing up, because you really can't tell when the car is going to move.  The only sounds you can hear from the outside are the wheels gently rolling over the pavement, like when a car is in neutral and you have to get out and push it.  So, no noise pollution and since there are no exhaust fumes - no air pollution either! When the car returned, I took the front passenger seat and used a Flip Camera to document the ride. (Illah Nourbakhsh, Professor of Robotics is the driver.) You can ride along virtually with the rest of's a smooth ride ...check out this video.

Zee Ann Poerio
Teacher, St. Louise de Marillac School