The buzz over electric cars in the Quad Cities

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After gas prices jumped up to .15 per gallon in the past week, it's good timing for a forum on electric cars in the Quad Cities. It's a lesson about economics and the environment.

Bob Young, 73, is getting a charge out of his electric car these days.

"It has earned its place in society," he said.

The retired engineer from East Moline leased a Chevy Volt last month. After studying electric cars for more than a decade and fed up with high gas prices and pollution, he made the leap.

"It handles like a luxury car," he said. "It's so quiet that it's amazing."

Reasons why Western Illinois University hosted an Electric Vehicle Forum on Friday. Local governments, businesses and individuals are learning about the technology.

"Not only save them in the pocketbook, but save our environment," said Ralph Woeckner, Eriksen Chevrolet.

That's important as gas prices climb once again around the Quad Cities.

"Too much money going out the door too quickly," said driver Dawn Trudden.

After yet another price hike, it may be prompting new thinking.

"Well, maybe I should get an electric car, huh?" she said.

These high gas prices don't mean much to Bob Young any more. He's going green and saving some green at the pumps.

"I just kind of smile and get in my Volt," he said. "I smile some more, and I drive away."

While the Volt costs more than $40,000, Illinois incentives and federal tax breaks make the price more comparable to a regular car.

It certainly looks different under the hood, but it is a vision for the future that's here now.

"The technology is there," Young said. "It's going to be dependable now."

After owning 30 cars, Bob Young just wouldn't have it any other way.

"It's such a wonderful advanced technology in a car," he concluded. "It's amazing."

It's an amazing buzz from his electric car.