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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

High gas prices are driving folks to electric cars 

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

News from South Florida Sun-Sentinel
by Erika Slife
Posted April 22 2006

Delray Beach--Running almost on empty, Charles Whalen bypasses the brightly lit gas stations and their $3 a gallon prices and confidently glides his Toyota RAV4-EV into his driveway. Popping the hood, he reaches for a giant extension cord and plugs his car into the wall.

Whalen is the proud owner of two battery-powered electric vehicles, and he is one of a group of South Floridians who are evading record-breaking fuel prices with their alternative modes of transportation. The motorists, mostly members of the Florida Electric Auto Association, will showcase their cars at two Earth Day events this week, a solar-power exhibit today in Deerfield Beach and an expo next weekend in Miami Beach.

"I try to convince you, it's the beginning of something big and you should want to be a part of it," said Steve Clunn, president of Grassroots Electric Vehicles and who converts gas-powered cars into battery-operated machines in Fort Pierce.

With the gas price this week surging past the $3 mark, electric car owners are seizing the moment to trumpet the vehicles' benefits. A much older cousin of the hybrid model -- electric cars debuted in the late-1890s -- electric vehicles are completely run on battery power, as opposed to hybrids, which use a combination of gasoline and electricity.

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