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.

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Reporter’s Notes: Who Will Revive the Electric Car? 12 June,2013Amy Standen

Author

Amy Standen

Amy Standen (@amystanden) is co-host of #TheLeapPodcast (subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher!) and host of KQED and PBSDigital Studios' science video series, Deep Look.  Her science radio stories appear on KQED and NPR.

Email her at astanden@kqed.org

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