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Electrifying use of a used car

The odometer on my 1999 Chevrolet Prizm is nearing 100,000 miles, so it may be time to get a new and more fuel-efficient model. If money were no object, I’d buy one of those nifty Chevy Volts.

Or, if I were more car savvy, I could follow Jeff Finn’s example.

The 71-year-old Bellevue resident saved a 2000 Chevy Metro from the junk yard, stripped out all the gas motors’ pieces and turned it into a one-of-a-kind zero-emissions vehicle he named the “Volt Runner.”

His bill: $250 for the car, which had 190,000+ miles, $8,000 in parts, $800 for the paint job and $5,000 in labor he paid a local electric-vehicle builder he met through the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association (SEVA).

“I’m not spending money on gas; I don’t have any repair bills,” Finn told me at a plug-in station in South Lake Union. And the Volt Runner is fun to drive, he said, because of “the elegant simplicity of it all.”


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