MIAMI (CBS4) – They are the hi-tech cars of the future and they are slowly but surely starting to hit the market across the country.
There is Nissan’s all-electric “Leaf,” General Motor’s hybrid “Volt” and Ford’s new “Focus Electric”.
But the cost of “Going Green” may come with a stiff price that will change the way we drive.
GM’s Volt carries a base price of about $41 thousand, but there also is a $75 hundred tax credit.
It has a battery range of about 50 miles, and then uses its gas engine to generate electricity for several hundred miles more.
A full recharge takes about eight to ten hours using a regular 110 outlet, and it still needs premium gas to run its power generating system when the batteries run down.
Nissans’ Leaf on the other hand is a true all-electric.
It sells for about $33,000 and also is eligible for the $75 hundred tax credit.
It has a range of about 100 miles before it has to be recharged.
Plug it into a regular wall outlet and a full charge will take about 18-20 hours.
But an extra-cost charger, using a special high voltage line cuts recharge down to about eight hours.
Steve Cercierri of Tamarac recently test two of the new cars and said he liked them.
He found “They handled nicely, and I’m use to driving Corvettes and Camaros. When it came to road feel, there wasn’t much difference from any other car I’ve driven.”
But Steve found out no matter how badly he wants to “Go Green,” he cannot just yet.
That is because the latest hi-tech energy efficient cars are not yet available in South Florida.
In fact, it turns out Florida will be one of the last states in the country to get them — possibly later this year at the earliest.
What is the delay?
There is no electrical infrastructure, there is no place publically to recharge them.
That is because Florida, unlike several other states taking part in the “Green Revolution,” just hasn’t gotten ready for them yet.
And there is another problem: Anyone without a garage, including millions of Florida condo and apartment residents, currently have no way of recharging them.
And with the economy as tough as it is, private businesses and condo associations may be reluctant to spend big bucks to install public chargers.
It is all part of the latest list of tough questions being asked nationwide: What comes first, electric cars or their charger stations?
Carmakers say they hope to start marketing their new “Green” electric vehicles in South Florida by the end of the year, and Florida Power & Light said it is starting to market electric car charging systems to be used in South Florida.
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