How Far Will the New Electric Cars Take Us East on I-90?
We may not have jetpacks yet, but the future has arrived in the form of highway-worthy all-electric cars that will take you at least 100 miles on a charge. The perks of such vehicles have been well documented—decreased impact on the environment, increased energy efficiency (thanks to a lithium-ion battery), incredibly low fuel costs and tax rebates—but with two models already available for purchase locally and two coming soon, Seattle drivers want the most important question answered: How far east can we go on I-90 before pulling over in search of a plug?
Body: Four-door sedan
Charge time: Six hours on a 220-volt plug-in
Status: Available now for reservations. Delivery in WA is projected for 2012, but if you can’t wait, head to California, where deliveries are slated to begin in late 2011. Learn more at codaautomotive.com
Range: Coda EV’s 90- to 120-mile range will probably get you safely to Ellensburg—and maybe close to Vantage (29 miles farther east). The question is, do you feel lucky, punk?
Body: Four-door hatchback Charge time: About 20 hours on a standard 120-volt house plug-in; seven hours on a 220-volt plug-in
Status: Available now at Stadium Nissan of Seattle (stadiumnissanofseattle.com)
Range: The 100-mile range takes you all the way to Thorp, where you’ll need a quick plug-in at a willing outlet if you wish to continue the remaining 10 miles to Ellensburg (where plans for electric-car-charging stations are in the works).
Body: Two-door coupe
Charge time: Around 32 hours on a standard 110- or 220-volt plug-in; only 3.5 with Tesla’s
240-volt wall connector
Status: Available now at
Tesla Motors on Westlake (teslamotors.com)
Range: The 245-mile range takes you to the teeny town of Sprague. But if your final destination is Spokane, you might have better luck finding a charge at the 220-mile mark—in the alluringly named (and slightly larger) Ritzville.
2011 Tesla Model S
Body: Four-door sedan
Charge time: Around 32 hours on a standard 110- or 220-volt plug-in; only 3.5 with Tesla’s 240-volt wall connector
Status: Available for reservation at teslamotors.com; deliveries slated to begin in 2012
Range: Equipped with the most powerful battery option, the Model S will deposit travelers into Idaho, 300 miles west of Seattle and just three miles short of Post Falls. Juice up in Spokane before charging for the border.