Electric Vehicles for Earth Day & Beyond

Good news for anyone thinking about getting an electric vehicle (EV), Nissan has announced it will resume taking applications for its new Leaf starting May 1. The on-line reservation system for the Leaf will reopen in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. The company had stopped taking reservations last fall after 20,000 people signed up for the car. The announcement came at the same time that Nissan said, despite production delays including the March earthquake in Japan, it expects to deliver 20,000 EVs by September 2011.

Up to now, the Tesla has gotten the most attention by being first on the road, having a racy design and high performance capabilities, but at $100,000+ the Tesla is out of reach for most people. Many of the newer EVs, such as the Leaf, the Ford Focus, Coda, and the EV/hybrid Chevy Volt, are much more affordable, although at prices in the $30,000 to $37,000 range for those cars, "affordable" still is a relative term. A federal $7500 tax credit helps bring the price down and some states throw in more incentives.

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