Say what you will about the high costs and short ranges of electric vehicles , a good many people who’ve had the privilege of driving or owning one are awestruck in love with them.
We caught up with members of the unofficial EV admiration society at a National Plug In Day celebration in Frisco, Texas on Sunday. The event, one of dozens around the country, showcased commercially available EVs like the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf, as well as cars just entering production, such as the elegant Karma by Fisker, the popular Prius Plug-In Hybrid (available in selected states) and the petite Mitsubishi MiEV.
Electric car supporters and companies have responded to a slap down by the Washington Post editorial board last week, which accused the Obama Administration of wasting money to help launch electric vehicles, such as GM’s Volt and Nissan’s Leaf.
The opinion piece “GM’s Vaunted Volt is on the Road to Nowhere Fast ” accused the administration both of having “paltry” goals for electric vehicles — 1 million by 2015 — and of spending too much money on subsidies for the new technology.
GM’s Volt has endured a lot of skepticism. It’s often been criticized for being too expensive, not having enough range and for that darn backseat that just cannot accommodate three people. Ever.
April, a celebratory time for Christians and Jews, not to mention landscapers, also is a season of hope for greenies.
This spring, like Trekkies, eco-minded people will band together at festivals to celebrate new frontiers — though they’re looking for the next new thing on this planet, in their backyard even, and won’t arrive in costume.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car will offer electric vehicles at select rental locations in the U.S. starting in 2011, the St. Louis-based company announced today. The company will begin its EV offerings with 500 Nissan LEAFs, the first of which will be delivered in January. The company will add other electric cars to its fleet as they become available. Enterprise, which operates a network of auto rental outlets at more than 5,000 locations in the U.S., already has added about 7,000 hybrid vehicles to its fleet in recent years as it strives to be more sustainable and green-friendly.
By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now
The North American International Auto Show in Detroit, that perennial display of motor muscle, finds itself in a serious mood this year.
With every top automaker in the U.S. reporting double-digit sales declines for 2008 (and GM still teetering on the precipice) it is a safe bet that the tenor at times will be more matte gray than Corvette red.
More from GRN
Slideshow: Detroit’s green cars for 2009
But for those who seek the light at the end of the tunnel, there is much to celebrate — or at least laud — at this year’s show. And most of it is green, green, green.
“It’s the most important year ever for hybrid vehicles. We’ve had most of our major press conferences completed, and probably 80 percent of the major press conferences all revolved around hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles,” said Doug Fox, co-chair of the 2009 NAIAS, which opens to the public on Saturday.