• UCF engineering grad's book gets endorsement from Stephen King


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Chris Sharek hit 20,000 miles in his 2011 Chevy Volt while averaging 219 miles per gallon and decided the world needed to know, so he decided to write a book.  According to Sharek, who graduated as an environmental engineer from UCF, electric vehicles were an inevitability of the automotive industry.  His book, titled The Electric Vehicle rEVolution summarizes his first 26,000 miles, or almost two years, of ownership experience.

    During a dedication ceremony for a public charging station in downtown Sarasota, Sharek met the famed author Stephen King, who also drives a Chevy Volt.  “When I humbly asked him to autograph a novel for me, Mr. King gladly signed it ‘From one Volt owner to another.’”  Upon review of Sharek’s EV book, the world famous author provided his own support for the vehicle, stating “read Chris Sharek’s lucid fact-filled book and see if you don’t agree.” 

    The Chevy Volt is technically a hybrid vehicle, but unlike the ever-so-popular Prius.  The Volt first uses its battery power for about 40 miles – completely electric, no tailpipe emissions, and no gas.  If your travels require additional range, a small engine serving as a generator then switches on to get you where you are going.  This is called a “series” hybrid.  The Prius, and other conventional hybrids, switch between the battery and gasoline engine intermittently and almost continuously.  This is called a “parallel” hybrid vehicle.

    “I was tired of hearing people brag about their green Prius getting 50 MPG, while I was getting over four times that!” Sharek says.  “Americans need to know that there is a vehicle for sale TODAY that gets this kind of mileage and it’s built in Detroit.”

    After a vacation to Iceland, where he paid eight dollars per gallon for gasoline, he decided to make his new vehicle purchase.  “I had been watching the development of this car since 2007.  In 2009, I even exchanged Emails with GM Executive Bob Lutz urging him bring this vehicle to market and got a very spirited response.”

    Lutz, sometimes called “Mr. Detroit,” is an icon in the automotive industry, having worked in executive positions with Ford, Chrysler, and at the time, General Motors.  After years of promulgating gas-guzzling Hummers and the like, Lutz championed the development of Volt technology.

    Sharek is convinced that electric vehicles have several advantages over internal combustion engine vehicles, or ICEs as he calls them.  He claims EVs are quieter, have less moving parts, require less maintenance, and are clearly cleaner for the environment.

    “Even when we’re burning coal to make the electricity, the air pollution controls on that stationary, federally regulated and inspected power plant far exceed the millions of mobile, not even State-regulated tailpipes of our ICEs.  Believe me, I toured the large coal burning plant in East Orlando during my air pollution class with UCF.  The series of air pollution controls at this facility are amazing.”

    “I currently have 33,000 miles on my vehicle and I’ve never done an oil change.” boasts Sharek.  He explains that since the oil life is based on the time the engine runs, not the odometer, that his first oil change is projected to be around 80,000 miles. 

    Sharek also believes that as more renewable energy sources, such as solar, come online and federal regulations for air pollution tighten, the electricity grid is actually getting cleaner.

    “Electricity can’t be imported. So instead of sending billions of dollars overseas to countries that hate our guts, we can be supporting jobs producing, distributing, and maintaining electricity here in America,” he explains.  “This is our opportunity to once again be the world-leader of the automotive industry.  I just hope folks wake up in time and support these vehicles.” 

    For more information Sharek can be reached at chris@shareksolutions.com or his website www.shareksolutions.com.  His book was recently added to the UCF Library and is available electronically on his website, or on www.amazon.com.

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