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USA: Trading the pump for a plug is catching on

High gasoline prices, growing variety of models make electric cars a more attractive option for some drivers


Stopped at a red light preparing to turn onto Two Notch Road, you’re not even sure the iMiev is really on.
There is no hum of a motor. No gentle rumble to let you know Mitsubishi’s new electric car actually will move when you push the “gas” pedal.
But move it does – as effortlessly, and with the same speed, as a similar-sized gas-powered car, such as a Ford Focus.

A Nissan Leaf charges at a electric vehicle charging station.
– Rick Bowmer /the ASSOCIATED PRESS
STORY: Pointing the way to where EV drivers can plug in
Charging up

60 to 100

Number of miles that electric cars can go before needing to be recharged.


Number of public charging stations in South Carolina. The stations are in nine cities, from the Upstate to the Lowcountry. Charging takes two to four hours for most cars.


Amount of federal tax rebate for buying an electric vehicle. Basic models range in cost from about $23,000 to $28,000 after the credit is applied.


Amount drivers of electric vehicles are projected to save on gas costs each year. They also will save on average $200 in maintenance costs.


Number of new electric car models set to be released in the next 18 months.

SOURCE: Plug-in Carolina

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If not for the sound of tires on asphalt, it almost would feel like gliding.
The electric-car trend is gaining ground as automakers roll out new models and charging stations begin popping up across the country.
As the average price of gas has stayed above $3 a gallon for the past year, Americans are looking for alternatives – from cars with better gas mileage to hybrids, which use a mix of gas and electric, to the emerging all-electric models.
But how realistic is it to buy and drive an electric car in South Carolina?
“As a family’s second car, it’s a great option,” said James Poch, executive director of Plug-in Carolina.
The cars, in general, run 60 to 100 miles before they need to be recharged, making them good options for commuters who can drive them to work and back home each day, and then charge them at night.
“You should never really have to have a charging station to get home,” Poch said.



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