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Electric vehicle drivers happy to avoid gas pump

PEORIA – Electric cars may be dropping in price and adding features, but Peoria isn’t getting a big charge out of them just yet.

Area car dealers add that, while few in number, buyers of electric models are enthusiastic about a gas-free experience.

Electric cars represent a very small part of the auto business right now. While 1.4 million new vehicles were sold nationally in May, the highest total in six years, only about 8,000 of them were electric-powered vehicles.

“Right now, electric car buyers are your early adopters. I’m stocking one (electric) car at a time,” said John Warren, sales manager for Rebbec Motor Co. in El Paso, where the Chevrolet Volt is available.

At Green Chevrolet in Peoria, owner Jeff Green said his dealership sells an average of one Volt a month. “But there’s 100 percent customer satisfaction among buyers,” he said.

Uftring Nissan, a Peoria dealership that offers the Leaf, an electric model that just dropped its lease price to $199 a month (with $2,000 down), usually just has one model on hand at a time, said salesman Tim Puentes.

“Sales (of electric cars) will take awhile,” said Puentes, who drives a Leaf each day from his home in Washington to the Uftring dealership on Allen Road.
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