Gene Dole recently bought an electric car, but it isn't the first he's owned.

     Gene Dole recently bought an electric car, but it isn't the first he's owned. The first was a "Commuta-car" back in 1981, when he lived in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Almost 30 years to the day later, the Dodge City Medical Center administrator bought a Chevy Volt.
     "I absolutely love the Volt," Dole said.
     There are only four electric cars registered in Dodge City at this time, according to Carole Evans with the Ford County treasurer's office. Evans said this is likely because most electric cars are hybrids and can run on either gas or electricity, so most are probably registered as gas cars.
     Car dealerships in Dodge have experienced different trends when it comes to the sales of electric cars.
     Magouirk Chevrolet sells the Volt, the number-one completely electric car, according to sales director Joe Peters. The only time gas is used is to recharge the battery.
     So far, Magouirk has put two electric cars on the road and has ordered more. Peters said the dealership expects the Volt to become a popular seller.
      Dole is one of those two buyers.
     “I average about 78 mpg in the Volt,” Dole said.
     He wanted to get a car that would be good for the environment and still meet his needs.
     Dole said he was especially excited about all the new features that the Volt comes with, including automatic temperature control, rear parking assist and a way to download mp3 music onto the radio system or even record music from the radio. Dole said he would recommend this car to anyone looking for an electric car.
     While most dealerships in town have sold only one or two electric cars, or none at all, Lewis Toyota sells about eight to 10 a month, according to finance manager Andy Mitchell.
     Mitchell said the best sellers are the Prius and the new Prius V, which are so popular that the dealership can't keep them in the showroom. The Prius is also one of the most affordable electric cars available right now with a starting price around $25,000.  
     Lewis Toyota also sells a hybrid Camry and a hybrid Highlander, Mitchell said, but the Prius is by far the most popular hybrid model.  
     Prius owner Deborah Flowers of Dodge City said she chose her car for environmental reasons,
     “I was really interested in getting a hybrid car to do my part to help the environment,” she said.
     Flowers said she is happy with her choice, has not had any problems with it and highly recommends it.

     Reach Julia Kazar at (620) 408-9909 or e-mail her at