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Plug In America - All-Electric Car Guide

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SEE ALSO: Top 12 Evlectric Car Myths And Updated Data (December 24, 2009)
SEE ALSO:EV Motoring- Electric Vehicle News

What Are Plug-ins?

In an all-electric car, high performance batteries store cleaner, cheaper, domestically produced electricity, and an electric motor provides propulsion with zero emissions. In a plug-in hybrid, more batteries than a conventional hybrid allow local all-electric, zero-emission driving with an internal combustion engine for longer distances.

Electric cars are very reliable. No oil changes, no tune ups. EVs have fewer than 1/10th as many parts as a gas car. There's no engine, transmission, spark plugs, valves, fuel tank, tailpipe, distributor, starter, clutch, muffler or catalytic converter.

The best way to reduce carbon emissions is to utilize the ever cleaner, greener, more renewable grid to power transportation. Only grid-rechargeable cars can attain the end goal of zero-emissions and ensure fuel price stability. Read more about the Case for Grid Electricity in Cars.

Sounds great! Can I get one?
It’s very difficult to find an electric car today. Carmakers should offer us the choice of electric cars and plug-in hybrids. The automakers produced great electric cars to meet California’s Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate during the ‘90s. But only a small number of these electric cars were ever offered for sale. The auto and oil industries spent millions lobbying in Sacramento, sued in federal court and successfully eviscerated the Mandate, eliminating any real choice for consumers. GM, Honda, Ford and Toyota confiscated and destroyed thousands of electric cars, despite offers of cash from satisfied customers.

In 2005 as a result of the campaign to save electric cars, Ford and Toyota agreed to stop crushing their great electric cars. But the automakers still only sell gas cars. The Electric Auto Association and Plug In America are working for the electric choices we want now.

Now, several companies are working on plug-in hybrid vehicles, including the Toyota Prius and Daimler-Chrylser Sprinter.

Electric Car Specs - All-Electric Driving Comparison

Tesla Motors
EDrive Systems
Plug-in Toyota Prius

Top Speed

Charger Type
Battery Capacity

200+ miles
130 mph (governed)
2500 lbs
185 kW AC
(248 peak hp)
110V / 220V; conductive

80 - 125 miles
80 mph (governed)
3480 lbs
50kW perm. magnet

24 12-volt NiMH
220V/ 30A; 5kW inductive
50-60 miles (all electric)
34 mph (governed)
2989 lbs
50 kW perm. magnet AC
(67 HP)
110V/ 15A, 1kW; conductive

5 Most Frequently Asked Questions - More FAQ

• How far can you drive between charges? (Electric cars & plug-in hybrids)
“The RAV4 EV has a maximum range of about 125 miles on one full charge. The Tesla Roadster can drive more than 200 miles. The Tesla, like many new EVs, will be capable of charging at any electric plug anywhere.”

The EDrive plug-in Prius has a maximum all electric range of 50 to 60 miles. After that, or over 34 mph, the gasoline engine kicks in as in the conventional Prius.

• How long does it take to recharge?
It charges about 20% per hour. The total time to charge from empty to 100% is 5 1/2 hours for my car.

• Where do you recharge?
Most people recharge in their own garage overnight, but there are public chargers for electric cars as well in parking garages and shopping centers. See to find public chargers in your area.

• How much does it cost to charge?
Less than $1 to charge a plug-in hybrid; $2-4 for an all-electric car.

• What about the pollution created making the electricity? Aren’t you just moving the pollution?
No. Even using coal, emissions are lower with EVs and moving the pollution away from population centers is a good thing. But there’s more. Utilities have plenty of excess generating capacity at night which could charge millions of plug-in cars. While electricity is getting cleaner and more renewable every year, even the cleanest gasoline car becomes ever more polluting. An electric car, on the other hand, just gets cleaner over time as the grid gets cleaner.

Read more about the Case for Grid Electricity in Cars & Plug for Plug-ins by Sierra Club

Read more common questions and facts.

What can I do? See our Take Action section.

Plugging in is not exactly new...
Nestled in a new book called "Historic Photos of Cincinnati" is a 1912 shot of a woman plugging in her electric car. It worked then, it works today.

[Source: Jan Perry/Cincinnati Post from Autobloggreen