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May 30, 2023

Worthy to Print Column | Gas vs. Electricity

Have you bought any gas lately? I was driving my car yesterday in Salinas when I thought I may as well get gas at the Arco station, where you pull off 101 to Market Street. That station has the cheapest gas, but boy oh boy! It is always busy; yesterday was no exception. 

Cars were prowling around the entrance and the exit pulling forward and backing up waiting for someone to get their tank full and ease their way out. The fact that we were almost bumper to bumper didn’t seem to bother the folks that were in a hurry. I sat in my car at the corner of the lot trying to anticipate which car would get their fill when the fellow in front of me started to back up! It was about then that I decided that the gas at the Valero on Abbott Street as you drive out of Salinas was probably best. I was tired of playing bumper cars.

This morning as I sat across from my financial adviser, she looked up at me and asked why I bought $120 worth of gas. It took three phone calls and some pleading with my bank to get that mistake handled. It seems I had put my card in the reader and in a hurry I thought that I had canceled the charge, but I pulled away before I got any gas. The station had already fixed it and they had refunded me the $120. I would not advise that you do as I did. It might not end up as pleasant.

It seems to have gotten pretty difficult as to where you get gas, which reminded me of the time my brother and I devised an alternate method of transportation. I must say though, that the customers don’t seem to be very upset. Were they like lemmings? Are we all getting to be lemmings? Is gas going to quit being refined? If it is, where will we get our power? 

I have a suggestion, but it won’t work for everyone. We can devise alternate methods of transportation. We already have Ford and Chevy coming up with alternate models of electric cars. With our electric grid, it is a mystery where the electricity will come from since we are already forbidden to turn on our air conditioner on a hot day. Where will that end up? I remember when my buddy Elon was driving a sports car around and all the car dealers were bemoaning the fact that electric cars will never be practical.

I suppose the new government rules on electric cars will make that a lot easier. You see, you will only have to pull into your garage and plug into the electrical outlet that you will be forced to buy. It will only take 10 hours to re-fuel your car that way, but if you buy the huge 220v connection you might get away with only a couple of hours. The thing about owning an electric vehicle is the price.

Getting back to my good friend Elon Musk, he would be happy to sell me a Tesla for a discount, but how much of a discount? Even if it were 50%, it would still be out of reach for me. BUT! There is another option! I can take my truck to this guy in Los Angeles or San Francisco where I can buy an electric motor. OK, it is still expensive, but with the moron we have in Sacramento it may be the best bet. Wouldn’t that be cool? A 60-year-old truck with an electric motor? 

You know, Elon (we are such good friends that he tells me I should call him Elon) was not the first guy to put an electric motor in a vehicle. I have the pleasure to tell you of the electric bar stool that my brother and I built to race when he lived in Bakersfield. It was pretty easy to build if you know all about electricity, which my brother did. 

I’ll even tell you how if you are interested. First you have to build a bar stool. Yes, I know you can buy one, but I don’t think the mass-produced vehicles can take the pounding that a well-built bar stool puts out. Then you get a Ford starter motor. It probably doesn’t have to be a Ford, but we came from a Ford family and are loyal to the brand. Then you take a 12-volt battery and devise a method to make them work together. I suppose I should tell you that my brother put a little button on the stool and told me it was the brake, it wasn’t. It was a way to make the battery provide the power to the starter motor. 

It is exactly like a Tesla before the Tesla was made. It was instant full power. There were no ways to stop it with our first stool, but we devised a way to stop by jumping off the stool. Unfortunately, I asked a so-called friend to watch it when I went up to Alaska for a fishing season and he won’t give it back. I’ll probably build another one just so I can challenge him to a race. I won’t be putting Elon out of business soon, but he had better look out!

God Bless.

George Worthy
Gonzales Columnist


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