America Goes Electric
Honey, Did You Plug in the Car?
If you are going all-electric for your next car, your motto today is simple: Plan Ahead. Where and when you charge is going to become important.
Some electric cars can be charged at home with a stove-type outlet or, in the case of the hybrid Chevy Volt, an ordinary plug-in. A full charge will take up to eight hours and, in the case of the all-electric Nissan Leaf, that offers about 100 miles of driving.
For running errands, and city driving, your charge will likely run out quicker using the air conditioner, heater, or if you are stuck in traffic. Then what?
It depends what kind of electric car you have.
The Chevy Volt can be plugged into any ordinary outlet. If you can find someone willing to let you power up, you'll get a boost for just 30 minutes plugged in.
With the Nissan Leaf, for example, you'll want to find a charging station. The good news is that more electric vehicle chargers are being installed nationwide. According to a Wall Street Journal map, 1,400 charging stations, backed by hefty Obama Administration subsidies, have popped up mainly along the edges of the continental U.S., with clusters on coastal areas, including Texas.
According to Plug-in America, just 15,000 all-electric vehicles were traveling the roads in October 2011. The Obama administration set up big subsidies for electric cars, setting the unlikely goal of one million hybrid or all-electric cars on the roads in just three years, by 2015.
Nissan boldly predicts that pure-electric-vehicles will make up 10 percent of global sales by 2020.
Sales of the Chevy Volt have been disappointing with about 4,000 units sold by October 2011, far short of the 10,000 units GM predicted for the year. It's biggest sellers were big cars: Cadillacs, Suburbans, and SUVs.
Within the next two years, more all-electric cars will be produced by Ford, Toyota, Honda, BMW, and Tesla.
With all that said...Honey, did you plug in the car?