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Electric car craze

READ MORE: Electric car craze
WILMINGTON -- Jerry Asher is dedicated to spreading the word about plugging in your car rather than filling it up. "Paying four, five, six dollars a gallon or plugging in 60, 70 cents gas gallon equivalent?" he said. Asher recently converted his Toyota Prius Hybrid to a plug-in hybrid, which he said allows him to run off the battery longer than with a regular Prius Hybrid. Asher said charging the car's battery for a few hours will get him 15 miles, which he said could be enough to get someone to and from work each day. He said, "In North Carolina we say we're clean and green, but we want clean and green, sustainable, and electric." Asher made a stop in Wilmington as part of his 50-state tour, mainly sponsored by the Electric Vehicle Association. He's educating people about their vehicle options. While here he met with members of the local Electric Vehicle Assoication chapter, including Bouty Baldridge. "Driving all electric is definitely a challenge because you have a limited amount of electrons that you're able to store. Battery technology is changing very, very quickly and that might not be as much of an issue in the future," said Baldridge. Baldridge has two electric cars and two hybrids. "It's very quiet and it's very smooth, and I just love driving it," he said. Asher claims to be able to get one-hundred miles per gallon for thirty minute increments in his plug-in hybrid. The group "Plug-In America" encourages charging electric cars at night when electric rates are cheaper. According to the group, it takes less than a dollar to charge a plug-in hybrid and two to four dollars for an all-electric car.

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Affordable

I'm not what you would call an environmentalist. I am not fanatic about recycling. Personally, I dont believe we will be around in another billion years. No I am not saying the world will end tomorrow, next year or before I die(which will hopefully be a long time from now as I have just turned 33). HOWEVER, what about those of us who cant afford these NEW cars. I have a family of 5. We drive a GMC Safari, which is over 8 years old. My husband needed a new vehicle for work. Did he go buy a new hybrid? NO, we couldnt afford it. Not with prices of EVERYTHING going up. We had to choose between walking around naked and no food or buying a less expensive vehicle, which ended up being a 13 year old car. I am glad all the people touting the new hybrid, electric cars can afford them. Because we cant and I dont know anyone who can!! If you want to buy me one large enough to carry around me, my husband and my 3 growing children, then by all means do so! Otherwise, leave me and my gas guzzling, emissions emitting, 'non green' vehicle ALONE!!!!

Missing The Point!!

Many of you are missing the point. Experimentation is how we get to the next phase of a better anything. Electric cars or the steam engines from the past. Things will move along, we American’s need to look more to the future and be more patient. We are in hard times that most of us have never seen before. We may be in year 2008 but we need to think like it is 1925. No I am not some old dude, I do look at history and do not like what I see. We are in an economic depression if you did not notice. It will take 5 years or more to fix this. The price of gas is just scratching the surface of our problems.

We're in a recession?

We MAY be entering a recession, but using the standard definition of "recession," we're not there yet. You need two quarters of negative GDP growth (retraction) to be officially IN a recession. As far as being in "hard times," rest assured that with proper planning, saving, and wise investing, you can weather the hard times easily. The economy moves in cycles, boom and bust. You learn to ride the waves or you drown. With interest rates as ridiculously low as they are and strong, healthy companies' stocks depressed along with the rest of the market, this is a terrific opportunity to pick up some true gems for bargain prices. Signed, An old dude with a long memory who assures you that you haven't seen hard times yet.

saving? what

"thirty minute increments in his plug-in hybrid." So ya get to drive 30 min. on a charge of a few hours? WOW So my husband would have to stop and charge the car on the way to work somewhere, then at work, then again on the way home. So, I would get to town have to find a nice soul to let me use their electricity and recharge so i can get home again....... So, my next trip to Raleigh may take me 2 days? I would rather have a horse.

Nothing against horses

The plug-in hybrid goes 30 minutes on a charge then turns back to operating like a regular hybrid. The trick is that for the first 30 minutes you were traveling only at 1 or 2 cents a mile rather than paying out 14 or 15 cents a mile. Electric vehicles charge longer because they typically go farther on a charge. I have an all electric car that has a 50 mile range. I use it everyday. As long as I don't need to go more than 50 miles I am OK. I have saved lots of money in the 5 years I have owned my car. Thousands of dollars in fuel, maintinence and repair costs.

Batteries

Actually Toyota Rav-4 EV had Nickel Metal Hydride batteries that had a range of 120 miles. But GM bought the company and the rights then sold it to Chevron who will not produce the batteries for automotive use. Chevron sued Toyota to stop the production and Toyota took back many of the Rav-4 EV's and crushed them as had GM with the EV-1. Thus this technology is not available to any company that desires to use them to produce a commuter vehicle. Check out the movie Who killed the electric car on you tube for more information. For me this is sad to be held hostage to an oil giant when it could be the answer to high fuel prices. Cheers, jack.

Joe

Thanks. Just wondering how many MPG you get while driving with no batteries? Say you have a long trip to go on. WE drove a nice full size Saab Turbo in UK that got 45+ mpg (diesel) and my Uncles VW like our Jetta's gets 60 MPG, even pulling a caravan. I think the American ppl need to start asking why we cant have the same cars. I researched buying a car in the UK and having it sent over, WE CAN'T, it would be held at the port because of the engine....I know the emissions arguments about it but, it makes sense that we would use way less fuel and therefore less emissions. I still want a horse.

I still want a horse. My neice wants a pony?!?

Are you sitting down? I pay between $7.50 to maybe $10 a month on electricity to drive my electric car. How much are you paying a month for you gasoline or diesel? Was that a week? or a month? I will say it again. I pay between $7.50 to maybe $10 a MONTH for the electricity I use in my electric car and I drive it to work every day. Charging? I am asleep for nearly 8 hours a day and as hard as I try, I am not typically driving my car when I am asleep, though if you ask my wife she might tell you different. My car only needs an 8 hour charge when I have completely depleted the batteries. I never do that because it is hard for me to find things to do where I use my car for 50 miles in one day. I go to work come back that is 10 miles. I pick up the kid that is about 4. I get groceries or dry cleaning that is about 2 miles. I go out to the bar which is about 8 miles to it and back. I am at 24 miles and I haven't done the full range yet. See what I mean? I get home, plug the car in which takes about 20 seconds and then I go in the house and drink until I pass out. The next morning I get up shave my tongue, shower, put on cloths if I can find them, go out to my car and unplug it. I am good for another 50 miles. Because I don't have to go to the gasoline station my electric car is actually more convenient then my gasoline car. I don't have to go anywhere to fill up with the electric car. I get billed once a month for the electric fuel I use and its cheap! And American electrons dude. I am loving it. I am so looking forward to the Chevy Volt.

sounds good

That sounds great! How do you tow your boat or any other type of trailer? How many people can fit in there and still be able to move? What do you do when a hurricane nocks out the power for a week? How much does a new electric engine cost when that one burns out? Who services it when there is a short in the wiring? How much will that service be? How much storage room does it have? Do they make them any better looking? The concept is wonderful, it may very well work, however untill everything is worked out I and others like me have no use for them. When one is made where I have room to carry all the things I want, tow a 26' boat,look good, and get serviced anywhere I want then I will get one. Untill then the tahoe works great for the big stuff and the benz is wonderfull on gas(26mpg in city and 30mpg highway).

That's a darn good question

I'd like to know too... how much of a sacrifice in MPG does one make by toting around dead batteries?

How much MPG does one get using batteries?

That is the real question you wanted to ask. Right? The Spirit of DC on a regular driving cycle will give the vehicle owner an equivalent of 101 miles to the gallon. That is with lead acid batteries and the 30 minutes of range we talked about. There is a conversion that has come out by Hymotion and A123 Lithium Batteries. That vehicle will do 150+ miles to the gallon if you ever need to use gasoline at all. Nearly all Americans drive less than 50 miles on a daily basis. So gasoline use is relegated to being used only when going farther than that which is a only a few times a year. You don't loose anything in performance, electric motors are far more torquey than internal combustion engines when sized right with the vehicle, and you are still paying 1 or 2 cents a mile. With electric we get: The vehicles are much quieter. Almost no maintinance. They have no emissions where people breath. Even when powered by coal they are cleaner. They let us use wind, solar, hydro for cars. No money going to people who sponsor terrorist. Nearly all electricity is produced in the USA. It is far cheaper than gasoline and diesel. When I think about it frankly, it is un-American to want to use foreign oil over American electrons. Buy American Go Electric.

And electricity is made.... how?

It's ironic how people tout electric cars as being environmentally friendly. Just how do they think electricity is made? Magic? No... by and large it's by BURNING COAL!

Quote - It's ironic how

Quote - It's ironic how people tout electric cars as being environmentally friendly. Just how do they think electricity is made? Magic? No... by and large it's by BURNING COAL! How about putting up a windmill and generate your own electricity? Lots of people do it.

Hold on there bucko!

Where are you from? Only half the grid is coal powered. In Washington state and Oregon the power is almost all hydro electric. California's grid is clean. Even when plug-in cars are charged from coal, unless it is a very old coal power plant that you get carbon and pollutants that are par or slightly worse. When you drive an electric vehicle you realize right away that electric is the way to go. First there is regenerative braking that recaptures energy and puts it back into the batteries, then there is the capture of potential energy, when you go up a hill you put energy into your potential energy bank that pays you back when you go down the hill. When I drive my electric car I found out that about 3 miles on the way to work was up a slight hill. When I would come home I can stay with traffic without ever pressing the accelerator peddle on that hill that I didn't even know was there before I went electric. No pressing the peddle means I don't use any electricity. The energy I am using is gravity.

Me? Where are YOU from?

That's cute and all that Washington and Oregon get hydro electric energy. This is North Carolina and we DON'T! However, I do stand corrected in that about half the grid is coal-powered. But another 19.5% is nuclear, which isn't exactly environmentally friendly either (at least not until someone decides to work out a safe way to eject the waste material out into space).

Space disposal is far too expensive....

...and unless we duplicated the Voyager courses into deep space, we might some day awaken to a returning cannister heading for New York or Tokyo. Gravity can throw a mean curve ball. Nuclear energy DOES make economic and environmental sense, and the disposal issue could be solved if we'd get past the NIMBY loons and the political infighting. We need to either make Yucca Mountain so attractive to Nevada that they say "YES," or we adopt on-site storage as most of the world does. We've learned and developed enough technology from planning for Yucca Mountain that it really makes no difference if a cannister is stored in the remote Nevada desert or several hundred feet underground at the nuclear plant that generated it. (Coastal plants like Brunswick, of course, would have to store their waste at an inland plant, such as Shearon Harris.)

THIS

AIN'T Washington or Oregon...our power in this city and surrounding areas is derived from steam...that is driven by the burning of...COAL so this would actually be JUST as damaging if not MORE damaging than using gas....I am not saying that the technology will NEVER be there, look at lithium batteries and how far they have come...I say that...but at least this is a STEP in the right direction...not an answer...but a step.