After four days back in my home town with my wife and two kids visiting friends and family we were all ready to go home last night. The kids (10 months and 2,5 years old) and the adults were all fed, the car was filled with luggage and baby strollers, the boys were strapped in and we were ready to go. Just one quick stop at the gas station to fill up the tank before we take off. Standing there pumping gas I was pretty happy with the way we had made the day come together, timing the kids sleep time perfectly with our departure. I was also thinking about the fact that the 330 km (205 miles) trip that lay ahead of us is the longest single drive we have taken in the last three years and that this trip should be totally doable in my upcoming P85, even without supercharging and at any temperature. As I saw the numbers on the display of the gas pump ticking away at a frantic pace I also thought to myself how good I would feel never having to buy expensive fluid hydrocarbons in order to inefficiently burn them in a small and noisy combustion engine. And as these thoughts were wandering through my mind I suddenly became aware of the fact that I had just pumped 35 liters of 95-octane petrol in my 2011 Volvo V70 5-cylinder 2.5 liter DIESEL car! Trying to maintain composure I quietly said all the cusswords I know to myself, took a deep breath, opened the passenger door and said: ”Honey, I know you’re gonna be mad but hear me out…”. The rest you can imagine. For those of you that doesn’t know; putting petrol in a diesel engine will most likely ruin it completely. Fortunately I realized what I had done before getting back in the car and starting the engine. Now the “only” problem I had was a nice mixture of about 50/50 diesel and petrol in the tank. Now, this was Easter Thursday and the time was 6 P.M. I had to be back in Norway today for work and my wife and kids had plans. Luckily we had stop at a gas station located together with some restaurants and several car washes, a tire shop and some car mechanics. Like a crazy person I grabbed my jacket and started running around checking all the windows and doors of the different mechanic places that were there. In all of them the lights were off and the doors and garage doors locked. At the far end of the site I saw a light from a small window and to my surprise, and delight, the adjacent door was not locked but even had a sign on it that said “We’re open”. As I opened up I saw that I had entered the messiest and most crowded mechanic shop I had ever seen. In this tiny space there were two cars, one Harley Davidson and about one thousand tools laying around, hanging on the walls and from the roof. I was approached by one of the owners, a very friendly Bolivian named Miguel. He was working late finishing up a car together with the other owner, his brother Pedro. They heard my story and obviously took pity, since they agreed to fix my car. Long story short: We pushed the fully loaded car (minus wife and kids who took refuge at McDonald’s) in to their shop, they elevated the car, located and loosened the rubber hose that goes from the filling hole to the tank, inserted at plastic tube, made a siphon system, sucked on the hose (I felt sorry for the one guy who must have gotten a mouthful of my nice diesel/petrol mixture) and emptied 65 liters (17 gallons) of the smelly fluid into whatever barrels and containers they could find. When we were content the tank was as empty as possible we lowered the car and proceeded to fill it up again with 30 liters of diesel that I had filled in cans and brought from the pump. After that came the moment of truth: starting the engine. Having been influenced by my time with the South Americans and did the sign of the cross and pushed the ignition. I was afraid I would hear the sound of cylinders failing and the engine coughing and sputtering. Instead I heard the familiar rhythmic thumps and humming of the diesel engine. It was music to my ears, a sound bringing me messages of a rescued evening, a salvaged car and possibly a narrowly escaped divorce? Two and a half hours after the whole adventure had started the now over-tired but even better fed kids were again strapped in, the wife acted a bit grumpy and morose but I knew inside she was happy I had pulled it off after all. Even though I was now 1000 Swedish crowns ($150) and two nice bottles of Argentine Malbec wine poorer (luckily I had some of this in the car) I was happy as a clam. The kids slept after 30 seconds and soon after my wife fell asleep. I spent some time thinking about electrons, how they are all the same no matter if they come out of a US or European outlet, at 110 or 400 volts, at 10 amps or 100 amps, in one phase or three phases, in the form of AC or DC current. Also, it makes no difference if the electrons have been set free by a solar array, nuclear power plant, hydroelectric plant or by the burning of one or the other hydrocarbon. A liberating though that: the battery will take any electron as long as it’s moving – the same goes for the electric motor. A related side note: Even though the car mechanics I had come across were great and seemed very skilled, for the first part of our trip I just couldn’t lose the thought of the hose clamp not having been properly retightened and diesel leaking from under the car. For this reason I kept a close eye on the fuel gauge and set the cars info system to constantly show me remaining range. When we took off I had (again) filled the tank fully (this time with only diesel mind you) which means almost 70 liters. After having cruised at highway speeds for a couple of minutes the car displayed “Remaining range 1200 km” (750 miles) which I believe was a realistic calculation had I continued at a steady pace. It will be some time (probably less time than we think) before we can buy an electric car with that kind of range.