When gas creeps up to $4 per gallon and affordable, full-sized alternate-fuel cars are in the nascent stage, it’s time to get smart about city driving.
East Sacramentans who drive Neighborhood Electric Vehicles show it’s possible to forget hybrids and go totally electric right now.
The flat Sacramento streets are a NEV paradise. These petite, lightweight, low-speed cars can zip into Safeway parking slots and park and charge in city garages for free.
Pat Lynch of East Sacramento went electric in 2008.
“We didn’t replace our combustion engine. We use our other car for long drives but still chock up about 2500 miles a year in the Gem Car.”
Lynch really likes the free city parking and charging. But the no gas engine really makes her grin.
“I love to cruise smugly past the pumps. Why not drive a small electric car around the neighborhood. It fills a great niche. Short neighborhood trips guzzle gas.”
Lynch never has to smog her car, registration is about $100 and insurance is minimal.
California offers rebates and tax breaks are available. Farmer’s Insurance gives discounts for those who drive alternative-fuel vehicles.
Look around the city for the small cars. They are colorful and look like a tricked out golf carts. The drivers are usually smiling because they’ve never filled up on gas.