Is the Triangle ready for cars that plug in? Now I'll find out if I'm ready, myself.
I’m talking with Triangle folks who have started driving Teslas and Chevy Volts, put down money for a spot on the Nissan Leaf waiting list, or converted their own gas-burners into plug-in hybrids.
And starting today, I’ll get my own chance when Progress Energy lends me a Chevy Volt to drive for a few days.
I have a lot of questions about this car. And I’m especially interested in your questions: Are you thinking about buying a Volt or a Leaf or a Prius plug-in hybrid -- or one of the other e-car options that will become available in the coming months?
Post your questions below or email me (please include full contact information, which I will not make public), and I’ll post my answers.
I’ll be blogging and tweeting as I drive it to my home near Chapel Hill and charge it overnight with a long drop cord from the 120-volt outlet on my front porch. Then I'll drive it to work, figure out where to recharge it in downtown Raleigh – and we actually do have more charging station options than you might think – and get a feel for what it’s like to drive one of these things.
I’m sure I’ll be burning gas, too. Unlike the Leaf and the Tesla, the Volt has that security blanket of a gas tank so you won’t be stranded for lack of a charging station. Its battery also has a shorter charge.
And my daily drive from home to work is 34 miles -- about the distance of a full battery charge for the Volt, I'm told.
The occasion for this is Plug-In 2011, a four-day national conference and exposition on cars that plug-in, scheduled next Monday through Thursday at the Raleigh Convention Center. This is the first time the event has been held anywhere outside of California.