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Electric vehicle market poised to grow in 2013

BARSTOW • More models at lower prices could be the trend for the niche electric vehicle market in 2013, according to a recent Los Angeles Times report.

Drivers in the High Desert, though, might not be as bullish on the fuel-alternative car just yet, as EV’s work to increase travel range per charge and provide more charging stations for longer commuters.

In September, the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District installed a free charging station at its Victorville headquarters to encourage more local residents to use electric vehicles.

However, two dealerships in Victorville said customers who have bought electric cars at their locations often come from more dense areas, where less mileage can accommodate day-to-day activities.

Jeremy Gray at Rancho Motor Co. said their electric car, the Chevy Volt, has sold well to many customers who come from down the hill. David Miramontes at Valley-Hi Nissan noticed the out-of-towner trend for their Nissan Leaf, as well.

“We do get a lot, but most of them are not locally, they are from the city,” he said, when asked about the Leaf’s buyer demographic.

In Barstow, one salesman at Soutar’s said the car dealership didn’t currently sell EV’s, though noted customers occasionally make inquiries.

Even as more charging stations become available — there are currently two within 40 miles of Barstow, according to the U.S. Department of Energy website — the EV market will still need to address higher-than-average vehicle prices which have led to their perceived appeal being relegated to only 3 percent of the car market, according to a recent MarketWatch report.


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