Plug-in cars are now DC approved – President Obama recently signed a bill allowing the installation of electric car-charging stations in US Capitol parking garages. Will this prompt more lawmakers to go electric?
That got us to wondering, how many U.S. Senators and Representatives actually drive plug-in cars?
And, perhaps bucking stereotypes, they're not all Democrats either.
Here's our list:
Senator Lamar Alexander [R-TN]
Testifying about electric cars last May, Alexander said:
Another reason I think this will work is because it is easy for consumers, and I am one. For 2 years, I drove a Toyota Prius, and it had an A123 battery in it. I increased my mileage to about 80 or 90 miles a gallon. I just plugged it in at night at home. Very simple.
I now have a Nissan Leaf. It is all electric. I have an apartment nearby the Capitol. I just plug it in at night. I don’t even have a charger. I just plug it into the wall, and I can drive it about 2 hours every day and plug it in at night. I have not bought any gas since January, since I got my Leaf in Washington, DC.
I have had no problems, either with the modified Toyota Prius that I drove for 2 years, or with the Nissan Leaf that I have driven now for about half a year. Almost every car company is making electric cars today or will soon have them on the market.
Representative Janice Hahn [D-CA]
In February this year, Hahn--who represents a House district in San Pedro, south of Los Angeles--testified on the impact of high gas prices on her California constituents:
I happen to drive a Nissan Leaf, an all-electric vehicle, which will be built right here in America in Tennessee in the near future. This gives me the benefit of driving past gas stations, but I don’t have to fill up my tank to be shocked by the prices at the pump.
And if given the opportunity, I think most Americans would jump at the chance to join me in driving right past those high gas prices and stop sending hundreds of billions of dollars to the Middle East.
Senator Carl Levin [D-MI]
I am a proud owner of a Chevrolet Volt, but I also want to ensure that the taxpayers do not subsidize the cost of my or anyone else’s use of electricity to power these vehicles.
So far, these three are the only members of Congress we've identified as driving plug-in electric cars.
If you know of any others, please let us know--with links!--in the Comments below.