A Look at Electric Cars

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Business owners need three things from their car fleets. They need to be functional, reliable and cost effective. This has remained true since the first company purchased its first fleet vehicle.

However today, with fuel prices soaring and automobile technology improving, organizations from the smallest of businesses to the largest of companies to government agencies are looking to electric cars to fill their vehicle needs.

Here’s a look at four electric cars that are increasingly joining fleets across the country.

The Prius Plugin: This was the first hybrid vehicle to be mass produced, and it’s the most popular hybrid in the United States. Like the other cars in Toyota’s line, it’s roomy and comfortable- four of your employees can fit easily into the Prius. It’s also exceptionally reliable and can save you a lot on fuel costs. Even though this model is only available in select states, this highly anticipated model can be purchased in all states by 2013. With its estimated 95mpge and 50 hybrid mpg, it is among the most efficient electric/hybrid cars on the market.

The Nissan Leaf: If your company requires a fleet vehicle for short runs and city driving, the Nissan Leaf might be the right option. This car is nearly entirely electric. It’s rather small and not as roomy as some of its electric car counterparts, but it gets an impressive 100 miles-per-gallon and has a range of about 110 miles, so it’s perfect as a car for the city.

The Ford Focus Electric: Of all the electric cars on the market, the new (it was introduced in 2011) Ford Focus Electric feels the most like a traditional, gas-powered automobile. This entirely electric car is built with many of the same features at the “regular” focus- exceptional handling, breaking and steering. While not as roomy as the Prius, it can still comfortably carry four passengers and has a nice-sized trunk for cargo. While it handles very much like a “traditional” car, it only has a range of about 75 miles, so it’s not ideal for long trips. It does, however, recharge relatively quickly- in about three hours, which is quicker than the other electric car options.

The Chevy Volt: This hybrid has been extremely popular since hitting the market last year. It’s roomy and cost-efficient. It gets an estimated 98 miles per gallon when running in hybrid mode and an impressive 38 miles per gallon when running strictly on gasoline. It uses the latest available technology to deliver an enjoyable driving experience. And it’s big enough to comfortably carry a driver and three passengers. The Chevy Volt is such a reliable car; the Department of Defense is adding it to its fleet.

Heather Beleno is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow her @HeatherBeleno.

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