Roger Imes calls it totally guiltless driving and he loves it. About two years ago he set out looking for an electric car – a NEV, neighborhood electric vehicle – and he found one in Ohio.
It cost him a little more than $13,000, including shipping to Spokane, and he has never regretted buying it.
"It is a minimal car. It will get you from A to B with a minimal impact on the environment," said Imes, one of the owners of Lorien Herbs South Perry. "There is no oil, no water, no gasoline - you can drive it and you wont feel responsible for Middle Eastern wars or anything like that."
The ZENN (Zero Emission, No Noise) vehicle, is registered like any ordinary car and it looks much like a mix between a covered golf car and a tiny ordinary car. It can't go on the freeway, but it can be driven anywhere else. Charging the batteries takes a little more than four hours and it will take the car 25 miles.
"The batteries will last four or five years," said Imes. "We hardly drive our other cars anymore."
The ZENN has a top speed of 25 mph and it's a roomy little thing: it has plenty of room for groceries or a nice-sized dog in the back.
Imes said it is crash tested and all that, but he's not too worried about getting in a wreck.
"Frankly, I think it's so light it would just bounce off the other vehicle," Imes said.
And no, his power bill hasn't gone up since he started charging the car at home.
"It is not the car for everyone, but I love it," said Imes. "And it's perfect for just getting around the neighborhood."