My video encounter with Bill Nye the Science Guy has to be put in context. I was in Studio City, California, visiting my friend, the estimable Ed Begley, Jr. (host of Living With Ed), when a Prius pulled up -- complementing the pair of them that Ed and his family own and operate.
Out stepped Bill Nye the Science Guy, a good friend of Ed’s. They chatted for a while. I’d heard that Bill was one of the 500 Americans, on both coasts, taking part in a one-year test drive of the electric battery version of the Mini, known as the Mini-E. These little road rockets reach 60 mph in 8.5 seconds and top off at 96 mph. They didn’t give him the car: He’s paying $850 a month. “It was the first electric car I could get my hands on, and the Tesla was a little rich for my blood,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
Now, I drove the Mini-E myself, and found it great fun. It is, however, affected by a condition called “torque steer,” which means that when you hit the accelerator hard, all the unleashed power is going to generate some sideways movement. In my test car it meant a fairly pronounced pull to the left. If I owned the Mini-E, or had one for a year, I would certainly get used to that condition, which is common among high-performance cars of a certain vintage.
Nye’s response, after accusing me of “whining” about a minor problem, is that if you’re driving a Mini-E you should be able to handle torque steer. It’s a sports car, he said, try to deal with it. Fair enough, I say! Sorry for interrupting you! My daughter couldn't believe I had done a video interview with Bill Nye the Science Guy, but I did, honey, and here it is.
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