Silent running

17May12

Here’s a strange thing. I’m beginning the like the stop-start and bossy information panel in the eco-car.

Stopping at traffic lights has become a peaceful moment of zen-like calm. The engine stops, the car relaxes and so do I. The car becomes a vibration free cocoon, silent except for the gently hum of the air con. When the engine is off, I am suddenly free from the tension of driving. I don’t need to do anything except sit there and observe. As soon as the traffic starts to move, a dip on the clutch starts the engine and I resume my journey feeling rested.

In motion it is impossible to ignore the dashboard indicators showing fuel consumption and which gear you should be using. The panel has become the objective of the journey. I no longer care about my destination, the time passing, whether I will be late or the selfishness of other drivers. I’m just determined to keep the fuel consumption above 60 mpg.

The car makes me drive more slowly. It forces me to anticipate more effectively and it makes me more considerate (no point in accelerating to beat the lights because that will reduce the average mpg – better to glide to a halt because the engine will stop while I’m waiting etc…).

I’m a convert.

Unfortunately the garage says that my broken car should be fixed tomorrow.



One Response to “Silent running”

  1. 1 Steve M

    What concerns me is that it’s possibly one more distraction diverting attention from the space outside the vehicle. I do like the idea of a moment of peace with the engine off but I’d always be concerned that it won’t start.


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