There's a lot of excitement around electric vehicles. But so far sales have not been great.
Michigan Radio’s auto beat reporter Tracy Samilton decided to get some firsthand experience driving two electric vehicles - the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt.
JW: So while we are calling them electric cars there are some fundamental differences in how they work.
TS: The Leaf is a pure electric vehicle it only runs on the battery and when it runs dry you have to recharge the battery to get more out of the car. And the Volt has a battery, and you run on that as an electric car for about 35 miles, and then after that it has a generator that runs on gasoline that provides more electricity so the car can keep running. So Chevy calls it an electric car with extended range.
JW: And after spending that week with the Leaf and the Volt, what did you think?
TS: Well, they’re two totally different cars and I had two totally different experiences as you can imagine. When I got the Volt, that week that they gave it to me I actually have a vacation arranged in Pennsylvania. Well because it has the extended range I could actually take the volt to the camp sight, some 400 and some miles away. And I plugged it into my cabin, which had electricity. You know most of this was done on the gasoline but I was able to get it recharged in my cabin.
When it comes to the Leaf, it’s a different kind of vehicle, I could not have done that.