LC man saves money on the road with electric car

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A lake area man recently purchased a new vehicle that requires no gasoline or tail pipe, just electricity and a plug in.

Ken Brunot of Lake Charles recently bought one of the first electric cars in the state of Louisiana. Brunot was on a waiting list for more than a year until he was given the chance to purchase a new Nissan Leaf electric car.

Brunot's car is propelled by an electric motor and powered by a 23 kilowatt lithium ion battery.

"I've always been interested in electric cars, from the days of General Motors EV 1," Brunot said. "The best thing about them is you don't have to worry about buying gas."

Brunot charges his vehicle every evening so that it will be fully charged in the morning with more than 100 miles.

"It's like waking up in the morning with a full tank of gas," Brunot said.

Brunot said charging his car does not heavily impact his electric bill.

"I've driven 424 miles so far and my cost has been a little over 7 dollars to charge the vehicle," Brunot said. "That buys you about 2 gallons worth of gas. I think it's very economical."

Other benefits of the electric car include not having to pay high dollar maintenance costs.

"You don't have to have oil changes, there's no timing belt, and there's no oil filter," Brunot said.

Brunot said the only downside to the Nissan Leaf is that a second vehicle is needed for longer trips.

"I think the car is mainly designed for a commuter car for around town driving," Brunot said.

However, Brunot said there's a feeling of freedom that he feels behind the wheel.

"It's like a new American freedom," Brunot said. "You feel like you can do whatever you want to do without having to be subject to what the price at the pump is. I think we'll see a lot more electric cars on the road coming up in the future."

Brunot purchased his electric car at a test market for the electric vehicle in Texas. He said a test market will become available in the state of Louisiana sometime next year.