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Technically Geeking: Now Is a Good Time for Electric Cars

Duh. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is the biggest natural disaster in our country’s history, and it is still happening. The effects on wildlife, economies, and quality of life in the region will be devastating and long-lasting. If that is not enough to make you cry, here’s the worst part – it probably could have been avoided. If we could have reduced our appetite for oil enough that we would not need to drill offshore, if we could have produced more energy using sun, wind, and water, we could have prevented the destruction of the south coast. I’ve been wanting an old classic car for as long as I can remember, but more and more I am filled with an overwhelming guilt about gas powered engines and perpetuating their use. I’ve heard that the best way to vote for change is with your money – buying products that you would like to catch on in the mainstream for a better tomorrow. If that’s true, then my next car should be electric. It’s my responsibility as someone who gives a damn.

Up until recently, that wasn’t possible unless you had $100,000 for a Tesla Roadster, or you wanted to convert an old car to a weak electric motor for a bunch of time and money. That’s finally about to change in the the next few months. Here are some upcoming options:

Nissan Leaf — I’ve talked about this before. A full EV from a real car company for about $30,000, this December. Not the cutest hatchback ever, but it could be the first EV to market.

Tesla Model S — This is the drool-worthy sedan from the makers of the electric super car. Recent news here is that Toyota is partnering with them on this product, and they opened a factory in Fremont to mass produce it. Delivering in 2012  for $50,000. Daddy Like.

Chevy Volt — Due in showrooms in December 2010, the Volt is a new take on the hybrid. Instead of being primarily a gas-powered vehicle with battery assist like the Prius, it is primarily an electric vehicle with a small gas-powered generator to kick on when the batteries get low. The price is currently unknown but it will probably fall around $35,000. The 40 mile range before you start burning gas sort of turns me off. On the other hand, it doesn’t glue you to the home base like a true EV.

Coda — This is a new one. I was at a gas station in Hollywood the other day, and I saw this advertisement above the pump. This new car company, Coda, is based in Santa Monica and aims to be the low-priced Tesla. They plan on selling the car for under $30,000 starting the end of 2010.

I definitely like the idea of a local company building electric cars, but I’m not crazy about the Toyota Corolla looks:

So in conclusion, I plan to buy a Nissan Leaf, then upgrade to a Tesla Model S, and then get a Tesla Roadster for the weekends after I make my first million.