Electric cars sparking curiosity in local drivers

Electric cars sparking curiosity in local drivers

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While most people pull into a gas station when they need to, Don Francis pulls into a charging station.

"It's like a cell phone. You recharge it and use it all again the next day," Francis said.

The Decatur resident is the proud owner of an all-electric vehicle. And, it's exactly how it sounds. The car's motor is powered by pure electricity.

Francis said, "There's no engine noise. There's no shifting. There's no smells."

And, no gas to buy. It's one of the main reasons electric vehicles have increased in popularity. Most manufacturers have an electric model in their fleet – like, the Ford Fusion or the Chevy Volt. But, the Nissan Leaf is the first mass-produced model, lowering the price and increasing availability.

Kelly Hoban, of Capital City Nissan, said, "They're extraordinarily popular. At this store alone we sold over a hundred of them last month and, right now, we've got a three-day supply of the vehicle."

Hoban says Georgia is the number-one market for electric vehicles because of the tax incentives. Georgia residents get a total of $12,500 in-state and federal tax incentives for zero-emission cars.

"When you factor in the available tax credits, the money you won't spend on gasoline, oil changes, things like that; over a two-year period of ownership, the car's basically free," Hoban said.

Because the average electric car can only go up to 75 miles on a single charge, it's not a car for those who have a long commute. But, Francis says for him, it's perfect.

"It's just such a unique experience. And, unless you drive one, you really don't understand the difference."

So, where do you charge your electric car? Currently there are more than 100 charging stations in the metro Atlanta area. Or, you can charge your car at your home. In fact, Georgia Power will come out – free of charge – and install a meter that charges a drastically reduced rate for car charging.

More info:
Find an electric charging station near you
National Plug-in Day event
Clean Cities-Atlanta

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