A small but enthusiastic group of advocates marked national “Plug In Day,” over the weekend, hoping to draw more attention to fuel-efficient – if slow-selling – battery-based vehicles as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.
But a new study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office raises questions about the cost of plugin power, contending that the nation is spending billions to subsidize sales of both plugin hybrids and even more advanced battery-electric vehicles.
Advocacy group Plug In America sponsored events in 60 cities from coast to coast on Sunday. In El Segundo, a Los Angeles suburb next to the city’s international airport, those interested in battery car technology were given the chance to take a test drive in a number of different electric vehicles at the Automobile Driving Museum. In New York City, battery-powered Coca-Cola and Fed Ex trucks were on display amidst the bright lights of Times Square.
Other cities marked the occasion with parades, celebrations marking the opening of new battery-car charging stations and “tailpipe-free” tailgate parties.
The fact that about 50,000 battery-based vehicles have been sold in the U.S. over the last two years should serve as “proof positive that Americans are ready to move beyond oil,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said. “The solution for ending high gas prices, rising oceans and Big Oil’s choke hold on our economy and democracy is using less gas. And we’re doing it. Today almost every automaker offers a car that runs on little or no oil, and Plug In Day 2012 is only the beginning of a new era of oil-free driving.”