Electric cars becoming more affordable, popular

Posted on: 9:14 pm, May 23, 2013, by , updated on: 10:12pm, May 23, 2013

As the holiday weekend approaches and gas prices continue to rise, it’s no surprise Quad City drivers are looking for relief at the pump.

According to AAA, more than 31 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more over Memorial Day weekend. Thursday, Quad City drivers were quick to express their frustration with gas prices.

“I’ve had two Hummers, and I was getting about four miles to the gallon. So, that would have been devastating at these prices,” said one driver.

“I don’t like them at all; I don’t know how people can afford it,” said another.

Relief, though, could be coming in the form of an electric car.

“If you drive less than 50 miles a day, you can drive in electric mode all the time and really, virtually, never put gas in your car. So, it doesn’t matter how high gas prices get,” said Tom Pospisil, general manager at Eriksen Chevrolet Buick in Milan.

Thursday, Chevrolet announced the price of its new Spark E-V, an electric version of its already-available, gasoline Spark model. The compact car will sell for less than $20,000 with government incentives, making it one of the most affordable electric vehicles on the market.

“This is a less expensive car to produce because it is smaller, and that’s what’s driving the price point down,” said Pospisil.

Already, sales of electric cars are on the rise in the Quad Cities.

“Everybody is looking for alternative fuels, so I think in the coming years, you’ll see more talk about diesel engines, you’ll see more talk about gas electrics, and you’ll also see compressed natural gas,” said Pospisil.

The Spark E-V will roll out next month in California and Oregon. Pospisil, though, expects the cars will eventually come to the Midwest as well.