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New electric cars, new risks

Jan 28, 2011 8:05:00 AM - thestate.com
Just Google the term “hybrid cars” and look at how many options you get – from how they work to fuel economy comparisons, consumer reports to carmakers’ ads for their latest models.

And it’s not just the Toyota Prius, which has become fairly common even on South Carolina roads. Carmakers are rolling out new models of hybrid and all-electric cars every year, including Mercedes, BMW and the super-high-end, all-electric Tesla Roadster, which goes from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph.

But while groups like Plug-In Carolina are trying to install charging stations around the state to prepare for an influx of electric cars and emergency responders are training on new methods for extracting people from hybrid-car wrecks, some of the people who sell cars here say the influx isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

“We had a lot of interest in the [Chevrolet] Malibu hybrid when it first came out [in 2008], but we have sold none,” said Scott Urban, general sales manager for Myrtle Beach Chevrolet Cadillac. “We had a lot of interest in the Tahoe hybrid, and have probably sold three in three years.”

Lt. Gregg Faulkenberry with the Surfside Beach Fire Department agrees that the change is slow to come, but said he sees more hybrids all the time.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)