Consumer Reports takes a closer look at electric cars

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Electric cars are still far outnumbered by their gasoline-powered cousins, but they're becoming more common, and more affordable.

A new survey by Consumer Reports says 36% of prospective car buyers would consider a plug-in electric vehicle for their next new car. CR says it has a lot has to do with pricing - The price points are much lower - with some of them starting as low as $29,000 before the federal tax credits that are available.

Two electric vehicles recommended by Consumer Reports for safety, affordability and cruising range - the Kia Niro and the Chevrolet Bolt.

But what about distance? How far can electric cars go between charges? Many of these newer models have batteries that allow them to travel 200 miles or more on a single charge. Like the new Tesla Model 3 or the Nissan Leaf. But keep in mind battery range in electric vehicles decreases when energy is used to run the heater. And consumers will have to recharge cars overnight in order to maximize mileage.

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Consumer Reports says overall, consumers will save on maintenance and fuel over a comparable gas-powered car. And about those tax credits - most electric vehicles also qualify for a 75-hundred-dollar federal tax credit, in addition to some local and state credits.

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