Posted by: Carl Blesch | April 28, 2012

Electric cars cut oil consumption, air pollution

PSEG's Wayne Wittman shows how he recharges his Chevrolet Volt electric car.

Early to arrive at Rutgers Day were two Chevrolet Volt electric cars, examples of alternate fuel vehicles that can help our nation cut oil consumption and air pollution. They are on display in lot 59 behind the Busch Campus Center.

One of the cars is driven by Wayne Wittman of PSEG Services Corporation.

“Our company is supportive of alternative fuel transportation, and is promoting electric and compressed natural gas vehicles,” said Wittman, who is also a board member with the New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition. “We hope that people will embrace these technologies.”

Wittman said he’s been driving the Volt for eight months now, and loves the car.

The wheels are driven by an electric motor, which is powered by batteries for the first 35 or 40 miles. Then a gasoline engine kicks in to generate electricity and power the motor for up to 300 more miles on a tank of gas. People who drive 40 miles per day and charge their cars every night may end up using little gasoline.

The Volt contrasts with all-electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf, which go 100 miles on a charge but then need to be plugged in for several hours.

“Each technology will play a role,” Wittman said. “It depends on your driving style. If you’re an urban driver, an all-electric car may work. If you want one car that you can drive to Vermont, this is your car.”

The Chevy Volts and other alternative fuel vehicles displayed on the Busch Campus are sponsored by the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT), affiliated with the School of Engineering.

“We want to educate the public about alternatives that are available now and will be available in the future,” said Allison Thomas, CAIT’s associate director of marketing and communications.


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