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Charged up: Plug-in car owners say electricity adds spark to driving

Seth and Holly Bokelman photographed alongside their Nissan Leaf at their home in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. (TIFFANY RUSHING / Courier Staff Photographer)

August 18, 2013 7:00 pm • By JIM OFFNER, jim.offner@wcfcourier.com
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WATERLOO, Iowa — Dave Lederman said he had gotten his fill of $4-a-gallon gasoline, so he went out and bought a Chevrolet Volt, which runs primarily on battery power, supported by a small gas-burning engine.

Seth and Holly Bokelman commute only a couple of miles to their jobs at University of Northern Iowa, so they purchased a Nissan Leaf, which operates entirely on battery power. Now, they can go to and from work without ever stopping for fuel.

The three are part of a small-but-energized contingent of motorists who have leaped into a new world of Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs).

The Bokelmans bought a Leaf in January when they were ready to trade in Holly’s 10-year-old Toyota Camry, which, they said, wasn’t exactly a gas-mileage slouch.

“She wasn’t particular what she wanted, but she wanted something that was environmentally friendly and green,” Seth said.

They researched the available options that would fit Holly’s criteria and found numerous candidates, including the Volt, as well as Toyota’s iconic Prius, which is the top-selling gas-battery hybrid car in the world.

The Bokelmans opted for the all-electric Leaf, on a three-year lease at $270 a month.

They said they’re glad they did.
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