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News Link • Transportation

Are You Ready to Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

•, by Tara Baukus Mello
 There are two broad types of electric cars: plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars. Plug-in hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius Plug-In, the Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid, the Ford C-Max Energi and the Chevrolet Volt, can travel anywhere from a few miles to as far as about 35 miles of real-world driving on a single charge before using gasoline to increase the car's range to that of a gasoline-only car. Pure-electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf and the Toyota RAV4 EV, are powered solely by electricity and their range is limited to the capacity of their battery pack, which in real-world driving is typically 60 to 100 miles on a single charge.

Drivers who travel short distances at slower speeds and do a lot of stop-and-go driving are typically the best candidates to take advantage of either type of electric car. Short trips are useful because they give the driver plenty of time to plug in to recharge between trips. Slower speeds and stop-and-go driving take better advantage of the technology, as the batteries are depleted more slowly when driving at slower speeds and can be somewhat recharged by capturing energy through regenerative braking.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Leslie Fish
Entered on:

Thank you, but I'd rather get a FLEX-FUEL car.  That's a car that can run on gasoline, ethanol, or any combination thereof.  The use of cellulosic fuel-grade ethanol has been growing steadily for decades, despite opposition from the oil companies, as a grass-roots movement -- if only because cellulosic ethanol is cheap and easy to make, with abundant material sources, and easy to convert existing IC engines to run on.  That's why Ford, GM and Chrysler already have models of flex-fuel cars on the market -- they're just not advertized as such.  We really have to wonder why.

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