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Ford Focus Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

The number of plug-in vehicles rolling out of dealer showrooms and down U.S. streets every month will soon number in the thousands. Yet, for the vast majority of residents of this country, fulfilling the dream of owning a Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric or most any other plug-in is still months – perhaps even years – away. Take, for example, Tampa Bay, FL. In early April, the Tampa Tribune reported on the plug-in autos available in Florida's third largest city. Here's a breakdown of the newspaper's report.

Nissan Leaf: Florida dealers likely won't have any Leafs for nearly a year, as Nissan is currently only delivering the electric hatchbacks to the early rollout states of California, Oregon, Arizona, Washington State, Tennessee, Texas and Hawaii.

Chevrolet Volt: General Motors says that Florida dealers might receive Volts this fall, but realistically, bulk deliveries to Florida will likely begin in early 2012.

Ford Focus Electric: – The electrified Focus is headed to 19 markets in late 2011 and Orlando, FL is on the list. Tampa is not.

Tesla Motors: The electric automaker operates a store in Miami, FL that currently sells the $100,000-plus Roadster. Miami is nearly 300 miles south of Tampa.

Fisker Automotive: Tampa-based Elder Automotive Group is currently taking deposits for the $95,900-plus Fisker Karma. Deliveries should commence in June.

Suncoast Electric Vehicles in St. Petersburg, FL is selling the low-speed Wheego Whip and the first highway-capable $32,995 Wheego LiFe was delivered on Earth Day.

So, unless Tampa residents have deep pockets and can afford to buy a Roadster, they'll most likely have to wait to own a plug-in car. Is Tampa's situation significantly different from your city or town? Let us hear about it by dropping a note in the comment below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      You know those Verizon ads where they show how much better they are then AT&T with a big red map of America, the red denoting their coverage? Well, that big white spot between Texas and Arizona* is me, Santa Fe, NM. As with cell coverage, so with electric cars. No word on when our mountain town will get plug-ins (though if Subaru wanted to make a killing...). My guess is that only EREVs will really take off here, when you consider that the nearest city (and large airport) are about a 120 mile round trip. I've yet to see a vehicle with a plug yet, though. However, when I was in LA at the beginning of March I saw my first Volt. My buddy remarked "that looks like a normal car!" * Why is it always windy in New Mexico? Because Texas sucks and Arizona blows.
      Steven
      • 3 Months Ago
      No "bare bones" electric pick-up? Dummies. If they kept it under $10K they'd sell millions, and most of the people who buy full-sized pick-ups could buy a nice sedan instead (that got much better millage) for commuting, and use the truck as a true utility vehicle, as first envisioned. Folks who tow ski boats (like me), we're still stuck with an ICE & 15 mpg.
        Mark Sumner
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Steven
        I'd like to be able to get a SMALL pickup of any type. Once upon a time, I had a little Datson pickup and it was the perfect thing for bringing home a couch, a load of lumber, or a bed full of potting soil. Plus it was cheap, simple, and got decent mileage. These days the smallest pickup I can buy is much larger. I've been hunting a used Subaru Baja to fill the niche, and the darn things get snapped up as soon as they're driven onto a lot. By the time they appear in a listing, they're already sold.
      Breconeer
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think we will see a rapid expansion of electric commercial vehicles (vans/trucks/etc) ahead of widespread growth in electric cars. For depot-based fleets the economics tend to be calculated over a period in which the total cost matters more than the upfront purchase price on its own. Maintenance and fuel costs are so much lower with EVs than with diesel, that payback within 4 years is already achievable (ask the fleet manager of Pepsico's Frito-Lay division, who recently published feedback on the first batch of their 176 Smith Newton trucks - and who wants hundreds more). Postal delivery fleets will soon be buying the Connie BEV (electric Ford Transit Connect) worldwide (Norway Post just bought its first 20). Thousands of fleets ordering in batches of 100+ will justify increased scale production of batteries and motors, and that will feed through to costs for carmakers when they come along a year or two later. Electric vans, trucks and buses will pave the way for electric cars in my optimistic view of how things will pan out.
      hodad66
      • 3 Years Ago
      Initially Florida was to be able to order the Leaf in December 2010. Then came the email moving it forward to "late summer" 2011. With the tsunami and all.... who knows?
      Arun Murali
      • 3 Years Ago
      Its atleast 10-15 years before these technologies will even start appearing in Emerging markets like China and India where it will have most effect. Somebody do something soon. :)
      At_Liberty
      • 3 Years Ago
      When the LG Chem plant opens in Michigan -- production starts in June -- the cost of the battery cells will immediately come down... Oil will likely not go down soon... Thus demand will be that much hotter... And supply will ramp up... Wah hoo !
      harlanx6
      • 3 Months Ago
      We won't be able to see how successful these new EVs are until you can actually take your checkbook down to the Nissan or Chevy dealer and drive home a new EV. After years and years of hype, these cars just aren't available yet, and apparently won't be for some time.
      Jim McL
      • 3 Years Ago
      You can buy a Think today and have it delivered anywhere in the US, delivery is included in the price. http://www.thinkev-usa.com/ I have driven it, it is very comparable to the Smart ED in performance, but with a cubic meter of space in the back. Plus you get to buy it, not lease. Depending on the state incentives, it ranges from $17,995 in Oregon to $28,995 including the Federal incentive. They don't have the telematics until later this year. My state doesn't have any incentives, but I will probably get one anyway. Think has been in business longer than any other dedicated EV manufacturer, they have more highways capable EVs on the road (2,500) with more miles (35 million) than anyone else, and I am tired of waiting. The Think should be especially popular in Chicago and other big cities where it is really hard to park. Amazing turning radius. I saw one that went through crash testing, very impressive. Like the old Saturns, it will always look good with those plastic body panels of lots of metal.
        Marcopolo
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Jim McL
        Hi, Jim, while you're at it, could I interest you in a companion vehicle?The amazingly successful Vectrix, or possibly some shares in Zenn EEStor ?
        porosavuporo
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Jim McL
        This reads like factually incorrect ad for Think City. BTW, Mitsubishi has more EVs on the road.
      Mark Sumner
      • 3 Years Ago
      In St. Louis the choice is limited to, well, nothing really. You can buy a Roadster, if you don't mind freighting it hundreds of miles for service, but Tesla will sell you one if you visit one of the dealers in another state. The other companies won't even do that. From the time the first EVs were announced, I've had deposits down with one manufacturer or another, only to discover none of them was interested in selling me a car.
      • 3 Months Ago
      Is this a surprise? As of yet, none of the manufacturers has hit 10,000 EVs produced. So yes it's going to be limited distribution for the near future. Articles keep telling us how this or that will limit the widespread adoption of EVs, when in reality the unavailability of EVs is what is limiting widspread acceptance. At least they are out there now. And the car companies are not going to be taking them back and crushing them.
      tantareanujellob
      • 3 Years Ago
      Who cares. Do you really want to be beta testing their first efforts in EVs?
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dont' underestimate the Patriotism of the American Public. Many American's know it was Saudi citizens who perpetrated 9/11. Plus, these cars are collectors items. The Return of the Electric car. These are the most sophisticated electric cars ever made. Then there's the possibility of building an independent home fueling infrastructure where you're completely off grid.
        Marcopolo
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Ford Future
        Strange, all your posts so far have seemed quite rational. So I am surprised at your remark, "American's know it was Saudi citizens who perpetrated 9/11". Incorrect, 15 did originate from the Saudi kingdom, but 2 were from UAE, 1 from Lebanon, and from Egypt. So what? Americans citizens perpetrated the Oklahoma bombing, German citizens were in Baader-Meinhof, even today, there are still totally crazy Irish citizens belonging to tiny IRA splinter groups.None of these small, but fanatical terrorist groups, represent the nations in which they were born. In fact, mostly those nations would execute them if they could locate their whereabouts. Saudi Arabia, has been a loyal and steadfast supporter of US policy. In the middle east, the US needs all the friends it can find. I don't notice you complaining against the French Government agents , who incompetently blew up the Greenpeace ship in Wellington NZ, or the murderous actions of Israeli agents and Zionist fanatics, or the countless other terrorists, with their murderous plans set on achieving mayhem for one misbegotten cause or another. Usually, just to abate their own inadequacies and satisfy some psychopathic paranoid delusion of grandeur. So please, don't blame the Saudi government or all its citizens for the appalling events of 9/11, and remember innocent Saudi citizens, and other Muslims were victims of 9/11, including pregnant women and the elderly.
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