One of the best parts of working on this story was stumbling upon a subculture of electric car fanatics, like Darell Dickey, many of whom drive incredibly rare, full-size all-electric cars that were available for a blink of an eye in the late ’90s and early 2000s. There are just hundreds of these cars left today and they’ve become collector’s items. One EV enthusiast I interviewed flew out to Arizona at his own expense so that a car dealership could interview him to decide whether he was worthy of a 1998 GM electric truck. (He was.)
In fact, Darell Dickey is even more hard core about this stuff than the piece reveals. Darell powers his Rav4 EV – as well as his entire house – on 100% solar power, and he took pains to tell me that he considers even the EV a compromise. Most of the time, like so many Davis dwellers, he rides his bike.
Today if you’re driving a full size EV, you’re likely either extremely devoted, extremely wealthy, or both. The Tesla Roadster retails for about $100K; another car we mention briefly, the Scion eBox (converted from gas versions by LA-based AC Propulsion) sells for $70K. Most everyone I spoke with hopes this will soon change.
Make sure to check out our photo set on Flickr which includes: photos of all the cars discussed in this report. You can also hear our radio story on electric cars online and find additional links and resources.