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Electric Car Buying Tips: 9 Things To Know Before Purchase (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 01/27/11 08:38 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:30 PM ET

From The Daily Green:

The buzz in 2011 is about all the new electric cars on the road, led by the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf. But because these are new products to the U.S. market, asked Nick Chambers, who has written about next-generation automobiles for the New York Times, Popular Mechanics and others, to cut through the hype and offer some practical electric car buying tips. He came up with these nine things you should know about electric cars before making a purchase:

1. There Are Two Kinds of Electric Cars
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Turbocharger? What's that? In this new world of plug-ins there are really only two types: all-electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

All-electric cars are solely powered by large batteries charged from the grid; when they run out of juice they can't move anymore. The Nissan Leaf (left) is an example of an all-electric car.

Plug-in hybrids have a shorter all-electric driving range using a smaller battery pack. After the battery pack is drained, they can either revert to being a normal fuel-fed hybrid, or they can use fuel to run a generator and recharge the batteries on the fly. The Chevy Volt (right) is an example of a plug-in hybrid.

> The Fisker Karma and 6 Other Electric Cars Hitting the Road in 2011
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Filed by Joanna Zelman  |