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2/23/00: John Maher places his order in the UK for one of the 200

Well, I've done it. I just put down a deposit with the local Honda dealer today for my own Honda Insight. It's not due out here (UK) until May 1st, the final price hasn't been confirmed and I don't even know if it will be available in red (my favoured colour) but after following the progress of the car from concept to production and reading all the good things that have been said about it here and elsewhere on the web, I just had to show my backing for Honda's bold move. This will be the first time I've ever bought a brand new car, let alone order one before I've even seen or driven it. It would be nice to know if any other UK residents have placed a deposit for one of the 200 Insights we've been allocated.

I've been considering building a pure EV - a lightweight high performance 2 seater but looking at the cost of components needed to deliver the performance required, plus the time it takes to do the build, the Insight looks like a relatively inexpensive 'off the shelf' car considering the design innovation that has gone into it. As I don't have the funds to run and own several vehicles like John Wayland, the Insight looks like being the best compromise. It would be nice to have a pure EV for commuting to and from work and use the Insight for longer trips but when you're in a situation that requires both capabilities be fulfilled by one vehicle, the Insight fits the bill.

I'm aware of the performance potential of a well designed EV, having driven an EV1 on a visit to California last year and if funds allowed, I'd be on the waiting list for one of AC Propulsion's tzeros. That car is incredible: 0 to 60mph in 4 seconds and covers the quarter mile in 13! It'll go 100 miles at 60mph on a single charge. All credit to AC Propulsion for showing how it can be done with readily available, low cost lead acid batteries and not having to rely on an expensive charging infrastructure to be put in place. If only GM and Honda had gone this route with their EV1 and EV Plus cars, I'm sure EVs would have gained greater acceptance. AC Propulsion deserves to succeed but the opinion I've formed is the major manufacturers have given up on battery powered electric cars and are looking at the fuel cell as the car of the future, with the Insight and Toyota's Prius being the bridge that helps us get there.

I look forward to the day I can post an Insight 'driving experience'. In the meantime, I keep checking in to see if there are any new 'feedback' postings. I'm pretty sure I've made a good move.

John Maher
john @plugitin.co.uk
[note: remove anti-spam space before @ to use this address]