High gas prices a good plug for going electric | Business
CONCORD - Gas prices keep going up.
According to AAA, drivers are now paying 3-68 a gallon in North Carolina. It's over 3-50 a gallon in South Carolina.
It's so high - many people are now considering alternative vehicles like the Toyota Prius, plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt, even all-electrics, like the Nissan Leaf.
So even in places where the internal combustion engine is king, you're finding a new source of power.
You could call it a shocking sign of the times, Duke Energy has a display set up at the Food Lion Auto Fair.
Duke wants to plug the idea of electric cars like the sporty Tesla, the Chevy Volt, and even showing off an electric truck built during the time of World War I.
They even have electric motorcycles made by a South Carolina company.
Are folks impressed?
"I think in the future they will be a viable option, right now I don't think so," said David Ritchie of Albemarle.
The electrics still have a fairly short range but some standards, and some require the owner to buy special charging stations.
"They're all right but they should be able to be charged on 110, 220, or even line conduit on 440," one man told WBTV.
It's a sure thing that rising gas prices have more people considering electrics or hybrids. The big gas guzzlers that thrill so many at the Food Lion Auto Fair might be lovely to look at, but the days of those thirsty engines are long gone except for specialty sports cars and expensive luxury models.
Those who want electric cars right now are struggling to find a good selection. The earthquake in Japan brought a halt to car making just as Nissan was rolling out the all electric leaf and Toyota was building the new generation Prius.
Plants are supposed to open next week, but at reduced levels.
Sales for electric and hybrid cars are way up. Car research Edmunds says sales are up 37% in the first quarter of this year, but by comparison, that still only accounted for 2.6% of all cars sold in the first quarter.
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