From an article by Scott Williams in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Dennis Erovick and his favorite toy might be arriving at the crossroad of phenomenon and fad.
The Cedarburg man purchased an electric car last year and persuaded city officials to allow the slow-moving, pint-sized vehicle on local roads.
But gasoline prices have since dropped from $4 a gallon to $2 a gallon, putting a damper on consumer demand for alternative modes of transportation.
Even the most ardent believers in electric cars are unsure whether this futuristic innovation has much of a future.
‘It’s very iffy right now,’ said dealer Tim Thompson, whose Green Autos business in Janesville has not sold a single electric car since October.
‘Do I think it’s coming? Yes,’ Thompson said. ‘It just isn’t there yet.’
But enthusiastic drivers such as Erovick remain enamored of their new cars, which are designed to protect the environment from emissions while reducing U.S. dependence on oil. A kindred spirit has emerged in President Barack Obama, who wants a million electric cars on American roads within six years.
Unlike hybrids, which combine electrical power with gasoline, the so-called neighborhood electric vehicle runs entirely on electricity. Once fully charged, it is generally good for about eight hours of driving.