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Money Power: Carmakers to roll out all-electric options

Two years ago the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt debuted to much hype – and lots of skepticism. Would Americans embrace these plug-ins?

The verdict: Buyers are warming up to them, and sales are steady.

Toyota, Ford, Honda and GM are introducing new all-electric options for those looking to plug in to fuel up.

The 2012 Ford Focus Electric: The hatchback’s estimated range of 76 miles is comparable to the Leaf’s, but it “fills up” in three to four hours instead of the Leaf’s eight. Drive-wise, there’s little to distinguish it from its gas-engine sibling. When you step off the accelerator, it doesn’t slow precipitously as it regenerates energy; but until you really punch the pedal, you don’t feel the instant power typical of other EVs, either.

The price tag is $39,995 (a comparably equipped gas-engine Focus Titanium hatch costs $27,010).


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