Let’s talk about green. As in electric alternatives to gasoline engines for our personal vehicles.
At Fred Beans, you have your choice of all-electric Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi MiEV and gas-assist electric Chevrolet Volt — more electric options than any other dealerships in the area.
This threesome offers a nice selection of price, features and fuel efficiency. And all come with impressive tax incentives that are no longer available on, for example, the Toyota Prius.
A quick run-through, alphabetically by manufacturer:
The Chevy Volt is an electric plug-in that offers the peace of mind of a 1.4-liter, 4-cylinder gas-powered generator that will fire up to recharge the battery while you’re on the road. So no pulling over when you’ve reached your electric-only limit of 25-50 miles. The Volt is attractive, seats four and has a number of convenient features, like in-dash navigation, a standard Bose premium sound system and smartphone/online apps connecting you to your car’s operating system. Base price for the Volt is $41,200. With its appealing electric-only mileage equivalent of 93 MPGe, the EPA estimates Volt delivers a combined energy equivalent of 60 MPGe.
Mitsubishi’s all-electric vehicle, or MiEV, plugs into your household 120V line and charges in 22.5 hours – or in just 7 hours with the optional home 240V charging dock. The MiEV has been touted as “The Greenest Vehicle of 2012” by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, getting a whopping 112 MPGe, higher than any other electric, hybrid or gas car of any kind. For more fun, it comes in a variety of custom wraps that make its bug-like shape sweet and appealing. It also requires the least investment of our three: just $29,125 before tax savings.
The Nissan Leaf is a compact, 5-door family hatchback, with seating for five (three child seats fit in the back seat). Like any fully electric plug-in, it has no gasoline engine and therefore no hydrocarbon emissions and no need for oil changes. It reaches speeds up to 90mph and runs about 100 miles on a full charge. The charging stations installed at both Fred Beans Nissan dealerships will deliver an 80% charge in about 30 minutes. Or you can charge overnight at home from your 220V line in 7 hours. The Leaf comes in two trim packages, SV and SL, starting at $35,200 before tax savings.
Fred Beans has invested in 440V charging stations at both of its dealerships. Nissan and Mitsubishi both require prospective owners to submit to an assessment of the home’s charging capabilities before the Leaf or MiEV can be taken home. Sort of like an adoption review. And let’s note right now that the batteries on these electric and gas-assist electric vehicles are all warranted for eight years or 100,000 miles, which shows how far batteries have come.