Lodi, California Utility Shines Light on Electric Vehicles

Utility leases three Toyota RAV4 EVs that the fleet manages says can be charged in as little as one hour.

Published: 13-Jan-2007

LODI - Cars capable of getting more than 100 miles per gallon - or don't even need gasoline - are not a fantasy. The evidence was unveiled this week at the Detroit Auto Show with the Chevrolet Volt, and other evidence has been parked at Lodi's electric utility for the past 51/2 years.

The utility has three battery-powered Toyota RAV4s parked beneath solar charging panels at its headquarters. Employees use the cars on their routes to read electric meters or attend to other utility business.

"We're using the sun as a fuel source," said Rob Lechner, manager of customer service and programs for the Lodi utility. "These cars charge up in an hour to hour and a half, and we've guesstimated they'll go about 100 miles on a charge. They've been very reliable."

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