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USA: An Electric Vehicle for You?

2012 will see the introduction of a myriad of plug-in electric vehicles: sports cars, an SUV, compacts, hatchbacks, sub-compacts, and sedans. Over the next several years, up to 40 plug-in models will be introduced. Later this week, the California Air Resources Board will vote on improvements to strengthen the state’s Zero Emission Vehicle program that will provide automakers with the long-term certainty necessary to ensure this proliferation of vehicle choice continues. Soon, there will be a zero emission vehicle to fit every lifestyle, budget, need, and desire.

Americans have already bought 17,000 Nissan Leafs and Chevy Volts. Not bad for the first year. When Toyota and Honda first introduced hybrid technology in the United States in the form of the now ubiquitous Prius and Insight, their combined first year sales were 9,350. In truth, the Leaf and Volt represent the first widely available forms of two types of plug-in technology. The Leaf is a full battery electric vehicle with a range of between 60 and 100 miles, well in excess of the average American’s daily driving needs. The Volt is a plug-in hybrid that goes 40 miles in all electric mode, before becoming an efficient gasoline hybrid you can drive as far as you’d like. 2012 will see the introduction of many more full battery electrics and plug-in hybrids. Here are a few, broken down by vehicle type:

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