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Chevrolet Spark: A good argument for plugging in

I am sometimes a neighborhood recluse, seldom moving beyond the boundaries of my Arlington, Va., community on days when writing duties tie me to my home office.

I take meal breaks and “soul breaks” — and time for short errands, usually traveling to local restaurants, shops and churches.

It occurs to me that I need not burn gasoline and further burden local air quality with tailpipe emissions to do those things. I am now convinced I don’t have to.

There are all-electric cars, reliable and affordable with sufficient drive range per charge to allow me to go locally where I want to go without running out of juice. I recently drove an excellent example of the genre, the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV 1LT, and am seriously considering its purchase. The little car makes so much sense.

With a full charge of its 21-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, I can travel 82 miles at speeds of up to 90 mph before I need to recharge the battery. In terms of driving range, that is more than I need to get around my home town and adjoining jurisdictions. In terms of speed, there is nowhere I can drive locally at 90 mph without getting arrested and hauled off to jail. Local speed limits range from 25 to 50 mph, with severe penalties for significant violations.
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