Car of the Future!


“Sir! Thank you for stopping by! Let me introduce you to the Car of the Future! This is the car that Big Auto and Big Oil don’t want you to know about!”
“But that looks like a 1960s Volvo with a solar panel on top.”
“Very perceptive, sir! Of course, this is just a prototype. With the help of savvy investors such as yourself coming in on the ground floor, we’ll soon be gearing up to produce millions of sleek, efficient and attractive vehicles. The American driving public will beat a path to our door. How can we miss? A gorgeous car that runs for free and defeats global warming?”
“This car runs for free?”
“Well, as I said, this is a prototype. It doesn’t have all the aerodynamics the production model will have. And this solar panel was designed for an RV. It was on sale at Camper World. The actual Car of the Future will have an integrated, high-efficiency solar array that will provide more power than the car will ever need! In fact, we’re working out a way to feed excess current back into the grid. This little beauty will actually be making you money as you drive down the road! Of course, we don’t want Big Electricity to find out about that too soon.”
“But this solar panel helps drive the car?”
“Absolutely, sir! We have no doubt the mileage has been improved tremendously! Of course, it’s an indirect benefit at this point, as we haven’t completed our research on how to install the electric motor and actually hook it to the drive train, but at this point the solar panel provides full power to the radio and the dome light, greatly reducing the drag on the alternator and allowing the engine to do what it was designed for; moving this car effortlessly down America’s highways and byways!”
“That panel sort of sticks up a lot. How is it in the wind?”
“Head winds and tail winds are no problem at all, sir. But until we achieve the integrated solar array, we don’t recommend driving it in crosswinds of greater than 25 miles per hour.”
“I see. Well, how do you keep the panel facing the sun?”
“Excellent question, sir! I can see you have an engineering background. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the panel is now set up for eastbound driving. When you want to turn around, you simply stop and loosen these two wing nuts, tilt the panel over to the other side, climb back in and Go West, Young Man! Ha-ha!”
“What about going north or south?”
“Well, I admit at this point we haven’t gotten that completely worked out. My Mom has a large lazy susan that she hardly ever uses; if she lets me borrow it, I think we can work out a rotating mount system that will allow driving in a southerly or northerly direction. Of course, the farther north you go, the weaker the sun’s rays, so the car won’t be certified for use in Canada.”
“Hmm. Now what if I want to drive at night?”
“Why would you want to do that? Ha, just kidding, sir. Our research suggests that night driving will require a passenger leaning out the window and shining this large flashlight on the… Sir! Sir, wait a minute! Come back! This is the investment opportunity of a lifetime!”

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