For some, electric cars are the way to go

Fort Worth Star-TelegramMarch 5, 2012 

Brent Beasley loved his Chevy Volt electric car even before gasoline seemed headed for $4 a gallon. Now he's enjoying it even more.

Beasley, pastor of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, is one of the relatively few Americans to make the big upfront financial commitment required to drive a car that you plug in, rather than fill up.

"I'm a big fan" of the Volt, said Beasley, who leased one in July. "I like the way it drives. It's a nice car."

Beasley also loves passing gas stations. "I think I've put gas in five times since I've had it."

Fewer than 18,000 electric cars were sold in 2011, the first year that an environmentally conscious consumer could buy a roadworthy, commuter-friendly electric vehicle.

That slow start was due in part to the fact that the Volt, the first to the market, wasn't widely available until late in the year and the Nissan Leaf is still in short supply.

General Motors announced Friday that it is suspending production of the Volt for five weeks beginning March 19 because of lower-than-expected demand. Chevrolet sold 1,023 Volts in February and just 7,671 last year, below its original goal of 10,000 cars.

"The fact that GM is now facing an oversupply of Volts suggests that consumer demand is just not that strong for these vehicles," said Lacey Plache, chief economist for, a consumer car-buying advisory service.

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