This year has been the best year yet for electric car fans. The Big Auto companies are bringing some great products to market. On the 2012 solar tour, local dealers provided some fantastic examples, such as a Chevy Volt, the Nissan Leaf and a Toyota Prius Plug-in for you to check out!
The Chevy Volt with their plug in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) has led the way. Several local DC area folks have been tooling around in their Volts and even brought them to the EV drag and autocross races sponsored by some of the same people who help put on the Solar Tour. See www.powerofdc.com for pictures and all the action. The Volt can go about 40 miles on batteries using electricity from the wall socket, at a cost of 75 cents per gallon equivalent, before the batteries are depleted and the Volt reverts to 36 mpg hybrid mode, just like a Prius, using gasoline to drive as far as you want.
Nissan’s LEAF is a very slick all electric 5 seater vehicle with a 100 mile all electric range, but no gasoline motor to back it up. It is great. Very quiet, quick, smooth. Who could ask for a better vehicle? The only potential drawback is the range, but you should know that the average commute is well under that 100 mile range.
There are lots of other PHEVs [Fisker Karma] and EVs [Smart Fortwo, Ford Focus] coming to market very soon. Join us. Buy or lease an EV. Locally, the Electric Vehicle Association of DC, www.evadc.org is leading the “charge” with monthly meetings in Silver Spring, MD, parades, community fairs and ride and drive events, among others.
Originally published, 2012 Maryland Solar Tour guide by Charlie Garlow