Electric Car Revival Gives a Jolt to Longtime Advocates

VIDEO: Jaguar unveils an electric model while Cadillac downsizes at 2010 L.A. Auto Show.
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Dan Davids never gave up on the electric car. A resident of the state of Washington, Dan has driven his electric Toyota RAV4 over 40,000 miles in the last 4 years. The number 4 is quite possibly his lucky number, but it is a multiple of 2. His vintage electric vehicle only costs him 2 cents a mile to drive. When it comes to maintaining his voltage-driven SUV, he has only had to replace 2 items; a pair of windshield wipers.

Dan cautions that he does have a big bill coming up. He has to purchase a set of new tires.

Less than $5 a year to maintain a car isn't too bad.

As President of "Plug-in America", a non-profit advocacy and educational organization promoting electric vehicles or EVs, Dan Davids is endorsing more than just an idea. He hopes Americans will embrace EVs, and thus benefit the U.S. economy, our national security and our environment.

Owners Drawn to Economics, Idealism of Electric Cars

He's promoting a love story. Electric carowners love their cars. It's not just economics, its idealism, patriotism, and maybe even a little touch of vindication.

Dan isn't the only one smitten, as I too am a lover of the concept of electromotive transportation. Conceptual affection is fine, however it won't get you from point A to point B, and so I have taken the plunge and committed my hard-earned cash to reserve myself a shiny new Nissan LEAF. After years of admiring from afar I am ready to secure my place in the electric car world.

In that world, the big Detroit car makers have gained about as much respect as the grim reaper. Long blade in hand, General Motors earned distinction as parent, and executioner of its happy little EV1. Released in 1996, the revolutionary EV1 was touted as savior of the motive world. Designed from the ground up as an electric car, its slim, sexy body was promoted heavily in print, as well as on radio and television. TV ads featured heavenly scenes and angelic voices that proclaimed, "The electric car is here."

Yet just a few short years later, GM removed (they were leased, never sold) and crushed all the EV1s. In several months the cars disappeared and strangely enough, the electric car was not here.

Is it vindication that GM has spent millions of dollars to develop and produce its new plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt?

Electric Vehicle Devotees Share Pride of Practicality, Economy

Last month at the 5th anniversary celebration of Plug-in America's founding, GM, Ford, and other big automakers displayed their new electric creations. It's hard for the Plug-in America crowd not to be a little smug when General Motors is now a guest at their party. Yet Davids is not looking down at the big Detroit manufacturers, or anyone who wants to join in celebration of the rebirth of an ideal.

Davids and his faithful are clearly advocates and lovers. These EV devotees adore their cars. They simply cannot wait to tell guests and each other about every detail of their object of affection.

Although the electric RAV4 is over 10 years old, it is the ultimate in economy, practicality, and yes, even patriotism. Their owners never have to visit a gas station. Living in Seattle, Dan Davids EV recharges with power that is 88.8% hydro-electrically produced. Only 1% of Seattle power is produced by coal.

Dan can rightfully boast that his fuel is "not coming from the Middle East", and certainly not from "countries that aren't really friendly with us."

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