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Going Places

Covering the LoHud commute

Feeling green and ambitious? Build your own plug-in car


One of my favorite surprises is when I get books in the mail. Well, the one that came recently is not so much a literary treasure (though the writing is perfectly fine) as it is of practical benefit.

It’s Build Your Own Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle, by Briarcliff Manor resident Seth Leitman.

I know Leitman. I wrote a column about him last October, when he came out with the latest version of Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, which was originally published in 1993 by another author.

Plug-in hybrids are cars that can run on gasoline, but also use batteries on board for power. You plug them in to charge them up.

There’s no doubting Leitman’s enthusiasm for the idea. One section in the book is called, “Conclusion: The Future Is Amazing!” (That was his exclamation point, not mine.)

Oddly, though, few if any of the companies Leitman lists in his book that sell electric hybrids, convert cars for you or sell the parts are in New York state. The Electric Auto Association, which anyone can join, lists no New York state chapter. The closest ones to the Lower Hudson Valley are the Long Island and New Jersey chapters. (The main association lists no Web site for the New Jersey chapter.)

Leitman once worked with the New York Power Authority on its TH!NK Clean Commute Program which got commuters to use electric cars partly by offering them up-front parking at some train stations. The new book’s preface includes photos of the cars parked at the Chappaqua train station.

His newest book came about after he finished he second edition of the electric vehicle book. Having done that for McGraw-Hill, the publishing house made him a consulting editor for a series called “Green Guru Guides.” The plug-in vehicle book is part of that series.

Leitman is president of ETS Energy Store, which advises people and companies on organic, natural and sustainable products. He’s got his own Web site, which you can find here, and a blog called Green Living Guy.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 17th, 2009 at 9:52 am by Ken Valenti. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Cars, commute, electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids



About this blog
Going Places is your online source for shortcuts and news on the ins and outs of getting around the Lower Hudson Valley. We'll help you deal with traffic tie-ups, bad drivers and the high cost of commuting.

Going Places is written by transportation writers Khurram Saeed and Ken Valenti. Khurram's transportation column, "Getting There," runs Wednesdays in Rockland. Ken's column, "Going Places," runs Mondays in Westchester and Putnam. Join in the conversation and share tips on coping with fellow commuters.


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About the author
Khurram SaeedKhurram SaeedKhurram Saeed has been reporting for The Journal News since 2000. He writes about transportation issues in Rockland and has a weekly column called Getting There, which appears Wednesdays. READ MORE

Ken Valenti Ken Valenti Ken Valenti covers trains, planes and automobiles - not to mention buses and ferries - for Westchester and Putnam. He's been a reporter with The Journal News and its forerunners more than 20 years and has covered all four corners of Westchester County. READ MORE

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