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Electric car hubbub-What you need to know

While everyone seems to be lauding the advent of the electric car (the bid for the first Chevy Volt is reportedly up to $180,000), the cost of the electric car is being underrated. Before you start adding up the numbers at the tank, don’t forget about the cost of charging the battery of your electric car.

Electric car operating costs are translated into an mpg equivalent, or MPGe, using individual states’ electricity costs as calculated by the U.S. Department of Energy. Electric cars’ upstream carbon dioxide emissions are also calculated using DOE data on the electricity source for each state.

According to, Washington, Idaho, Kentucky, West Virginia and Arkansas are the states with the lowest electricity rates, making electric cars most economical on a cost-per-mile basis. Vermont, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and New Hampshire are the best states in terms of electric cars’ lowest upstream CO2 emissions per kilowatt-hour.

According to a recent survey by Kelley Blue Book, only 7 percent of shoppers said they are likely to buy or lease an electric vehicle for their next new vehicle purchase.

More than 80 percent of survey respondents said they were concerned about electric vehicles’ range on a single charge and the availability of charging stations.

Kelley Blue Book found that 91 percent of car shoppers think electric vehicles are expensive and 43 percent think electric vehicles won’t retain their value as well as regular gas vehicles.

One problem is being addressed. Cracker Barrel announced they will be on the forefront of building electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the country.

The plan is to install chargers at 24 of their Tennessee stores, including locations at Cookeville, Lebanon, Manchester, Murfreesboro, and in Nashville at Stewart’s Ferry Pike. A dozen of them will have the so-called fast chargers which provide an 80-percent charge in 30 minutes.

On the West Hargett Street sidewalk, next to parking spaces 101 and 102, are two reassuring signs that Raleigh will be ready for a new wave of mass-market cars that can run without a drop of petroleum.

Two electric-car charging stations were installed there last week, in front of the Raleigh Municipal Building. And, who pays for that charging station? Why, the tax payers, of course.

Chevy Volt will have limited release

Recently, GM started turning a profit for the first time since 2007. It seems they’re trying to keep the ball rolling with the Chevy Volt.

GM will begin sales of its electric car at the end of the year. But, only 10,000 are set to roll of the line. To put that into perspective, GM sold 21,000 Malibus last month alone. In 2012, GM plans on increasing the production of the Volt to 30,000.

When the Volt was revealed as a concept car in 2007, a list was created on the Internet for potential buyers, sign here if you’d buy one. According to reports, the list is up to 53,000 names. But, putting your name on a list is not the same as dropping the cash for the car. GM spokesman Rob Peterson says that demand will almost certainly be higher than production.

Distribution will be in six states and Washington, D.C.

Dealers are preparing for servicing the new cars. The Volt comes with an updated OnStar system. Dealers are prepared to deal with calls addressing issues they’ve never heard before.

Nissan will release its Leaf, an electric car with a 100 mile range, to compete with the Volt. Nissan plans on producing 25,000.

While a price has not been set, dealers are taking deposits already. The expected price is around $40,000, which hits $32,000 after federal taxes credits for electric cars.

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