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Posted: December 14, 2011 12:00 a.m.

Supporter Spotlight - Electric Autos

Ever since Electric Autos opened in Conyers last July, owner Dave McKemzie has found customers to be extremely favorable to the electric vehicles; they have had enough with the high gas prices the country has been experiencing.

"The gasoline prices from the past couple of years have been ridiculous," said McKenzie. "Personally, I wanted to lower my cost of transportation and wanted to help people do that."

According to McKenzie, Electric Autos is the southeast's exclusive electric automobile (including scooters, motorcycles, etc.) dealer. He says finding an all-electric auto dealer is currently hard to find in the country.

"I know a guy in Texas, one in Pennsylvania and one in California," said McKenzie. "There aren't a whole lot of us around."

The business spent the past summer promoting their line of scooters and motorcycles. As the winter months roll in, they plan to market their line of electric cars, offering 15 percent discounts and up to $12,500 in tax credits until Dec. 31.

Electric vehicles are much cheaper to operate and maintain than one typically assumes, says McKenzie. You can operate a battery-powered electric vehicle (BEV) for one to two cents per mile, while a gasoline-powered car costs 10 to 30 cents per mile. Instead of paying $50 to fill up, you can pay $1.50 from the comfort of your home.

The BEV also has much fewer parts to be maintained. According to the business's website, a typical BEV replaces 86 parts of a gasoline-powered vehicle (including engine block, crankshaft, bearings, rods, pistons and etc.), with a mere six parts (electric motor and controller, batteries and charger, throttle potentiometer and shunt).

All in all, a BEV is about 94 percent cheaper to operate, using 2011 gas prices.

The business, located on 1601 Lester Road in Conyers, offers a variety of BEV models, from scooters and mopeds to motorcycles, cars, SUVs and vans. They also offer accessories like helmets and jackets. In addition, Electric Autos allows customers to charge their vehicle at the facility and sells a home charging station.
The business is authorized dealer for two BEV manufacturers and guarantees deliveries to customers in one to three weeks. All vehicles undergo rigorous inspection before release.

McKenzie hopes to see the business expand over the next few years, as the market for BEV increases in popularity.


"People are always asking me if an electric car is indeed cheaper to use," said McKenzie. "This summer, I was commuting on an electric motorcycle, and I did 2,500 miles on it with no problems - I didn't even have to add air in the tires. I could go 250 miles for a dollar. You just can't beat that."

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