Plug options

with Sharon Peters

Q: I’ve recently moved to a condominium with internal parking. There are several hybrid cars in the garage. In preparation for the next generation of plug-ins/electric cars, I’ve been trying to compile a list of current and proposed plug-ins to present to the board of directors. The object is to get a plan in place to add charging stations in our garage. It is very difficult to compile such a list. Do you know of what’s coming, or can you direct me to where I can get this information?

A: The best source is At the homepage there’s a section with segments labeled “electric” and “plug-in hybrids.” Click on each. You’ll be taken to a page where a “coming soon” area tells you, in each category, what new vehicles are soon to arrive and also, more or less, when. The information is updated regularly.

A reader sounds off: “I disagree with your statement that formal driver ed doesn’t make much difference in safety. It makes a big difference if taught as defensive driving — you know, anticipate people not stopping at stop lights and signs; in a row of cars, if one has its wheels turned out, that car may be ready to pull out. I took driver ed in high school and the teacher would say in every class, ‘Concentrate on driving, keep the radio off, tell passengers to be quiet. You are driving 1.5 tons.’”

I agree that driver ed has the potential to do hugely important things in preparing young people for doing the right things on the road. But studies have shown it is not having much positive impact. That’s not me making that judgment, that’s a few studies concluding it.

That said, I believe any training must help at least a little. I also suspect some instructors are far more effective than others (in my case, Mr. Rowe used fear as a motivator, and right or wrong, that kept me from getting sloppy). Good formal instruction, plus parents being clear and consistent about following the rules, removing driving privileges at every infraction and being strict rules-followers themselves when behind the wheel are all part of educating young drivers. Teachers and parents alike are often falling short, unfortunately.

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