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First Comparison: BMW i3 vs. Chevrolet Volt

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Extended-range electric cars: It’s a mouthful of a phrase. It also turns out to be the ideal compromise between the advantages of an electric car and the advantages of a gasoline engine car.

Many people do most of their driving to and from work, and they could charge their car at home as well as at work. However, they also need to be prepared for the unexpected trip of undetermined length, where charging stations may be nonexistent or otherwise impractical because of charging time.

When you gotta go, you gotta go — and you don’t want to be limited by your car’s range or refueling capability.

There is a further delineation in the plug-in hybrid car market: full power electric versus blended power. There are many cars sold somewhere in the world already, made by Ford (F_), Toyota (TM_), Porsche, Volvo, Mitsubishi and Honda (HMC_), among others, that are plug-in hybrids, but not 100% of the power is available in electric mode.

Basically, those cars operate in blended mode where if you want more than, say, one-third of available power, the gasoline engine will kick in. That has some merit, but is no fun to drive, as anyone who has driven these cars know.


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