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Electric vehicle owners ‘chuckle’ during tough week for gas-powered vehicles

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 10:25 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - It’s been quite the week for drivers. A gas shortage has lasted for days caused panic for some and was an annoyance for others.

Chances are this week’s shortage prompted those who own electric cars to gloat — or at least smile — when they drove by a gas station. But could this week’s pain spark a rise in electric sales?

At Kraft Nissan in Tallahassee, all but one model on the lot still uses an internal combustion engine. The electric Leaf has become a recent hot pick, which General Manager Philip Sollecito said is a sign of what the future holds.

Nissan is set to launch an all-electric SUV-style vehicle in late 2020, Sollecito said.

Kraft Nissan Sales Manager Roy Bragg is a proud Leaf owner who plans to swap it for the new SUV once it’s available.

Bragg spends his day bragging to potential customers about the lure of going electric.

“You are perfectly fine to live your normal life in this car,” Braff said.

The perks, Bragg said, are obvious. But, so are the potential drawbacks. According to Bragg, he has to calm buyers down from “range anxiety,”or the fear a car won’t have the charge to make it to the destination. That was the anxiety regular drivers faced this week with bags on pumps.

“When I drive by a line of cars going into the gas station I do smile a little bit,” Bragg said. “It’s cute. I get a little bit of a chuckle out of it.”

But he’s a realist and knows their are negatives.

“If we had a hurricane and we’re out of power for a week, I would not be able to charge my car,” he said.

Bragg doesn’t think this week’s problems will ignite a revolution on its own.

“I don’t think that’s going to be enough to unseat somebody’s deep-seeded feeling on this,” Bragg said, noting that many folks have long-held beliefs on electric cars he says is unfounded.

Resident George Larkins owns a Tesla. He said he loves driving right by gas stations and that he was oblivious to this week’s woes while living in his Elon Musk-powered bubble.

“‘I’m so cut off from the gas world, I didn’t even know,” Larkins said. “And once I found out I, saw the lines and saw people complaining on Facebook and it made me chuckle.”

So laughs are aplenty for electric vehicle owners, who firmly believe they’re experiencing the future in the present.

“I just think we’re going to get to a point where cars are being built are all electric, and we’re getting to that point extremely quickly,” Bragg added.

Bragg appears to be right. According to consulting firm McKinsey, around 450 new electric vehicle models are expected to enter the market between 2020 and 2022.

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