What would Amelia Earhart drive? If she were alive today, she might be keen on getting behind the wheel of a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt, figures Jim Motavalli of the New York Times.

Setting aside the fact that airplanes use tremendous amounts of fuel, Motavalli collected anecdotal evidence that lots of today's pilots are big plug-in vehicle fans. The first Volt was delivered to Jeffrey Kaffee, a retired airline pilot in December, 2010. The president of Plug In America, Dan Davids, is also a pilot. Motavalli found plenty more examples, and the tie that binds them together is a desire to be efficient with their transportation energy – even if it doesn't reach everyone who sits in a cockpit. As Davids told Motavalli:

If you're a pilot, why wouldn't you want any kind of transportation equipment you operate to be as efficient as possible? It amazes me when a pilot is fastidious about saving money and fuel while in the air, but then arrives back at the airport and climbs into a Chevrolet Suburban to drive home. They should know better.

The pilots Motavalli interviews are also big fans of knowing exactly how much energy they have in their packs, and trying to squeeze as many miles from those electrons as possible. This all makes sense. After all, the Wright Brothers got their start in a bicycle shop, didn't they? Those two wheelers are the most efficient vehicle known to man.


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