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Carbone reduces her carbon footprint

By Laura Caskey

In the mornings and afternoons on Meeting Street, amongst the cars and trucks, you may see something unexpected.
Susan Carbone, a bookkeeper at Lancaster County Library, makes her daily commute from her home to the library on a Segway.
“I live in Lancaster, so the trip is only about four miles one way, and you can use it on sidewalks and cut corners to reduce the miles,” Carbone said.
Introduced in 2001, the Segway PT – more commonly known as just the Segway – is a two-wheeled, self-balancing electric mobility vehicle. Though commonly associated with park security guards and big shot Google executives, the battery-powered machines are seeing more use from the public due to rising prices in gasoline.
“I wanted one when they originally came out, but they were only for police force and things like that. Now they have a kind of stripped-down commuter version you can get,” Carbone said.
After using one on loan, Carbone bought her Segway i2 commuter model about three weeks ago from Charlotte Energy Solutions and has depended on it ever since.
“I’m a little scared because people always say you get what you wish for, and I always said that I would die to have one of these,” Carbone said, “At least if I go I’ll have fun doing it.”
The machine is limited to a speed of 12.5 mph with a maximum horsepower of 2. Though Segways aren’t cheap (with the basic model priced around $5,800), Carbone feels the monthly savings make it worthwhile.
“The Segway has a relatively low carbon footprint and can go about 25 miles on one charge, which is plenty for just driving in town,” Carbone said, “It really doesn’t use much more electricity to charge than a laptop, so I really haven’t seen a change in the electricity bills.”
With the recent introduction of mainstream market electric cars like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, it seems Carbone may be on to something, though she admits to not being a fan of the available electric cars.
“I currently drive a hybrid and probably will not purchase an electric car. All of the electric cars available are very small and I would feel uncomfortable on the main roads in one of those,” Carbone said, “I prefer the Segway because at least you’re standing up and it adds a little height.”
In the future small, electric forms of transportation like the Segway i2 could be the norm and Carbone is just a step ahead.
For details about a Segway PT or other green forms of transportation, visit Charlotte Energy Solutions’ website at www.charlotteenergysolutions.com.