This Summer, Electric Cars Are Merging Into California’s Traffic (The New York Times)

One of the first Model S electric sedans from Tesla Motors hits the road. (Photo credit: Tesla Motors)

One of the first Model S electric sedans from Tesla Motors hits the road. (Photo credit: Tesla Motors)

It doesn’t sound as sexy as the 1967 Summer of Love, but for Californians with a passion for plug-ins, the warm months of 2012 are turning into the season of the electric car.

Some four years after the $100,000-plus Tesla Roadster became the nation’s only new electric vehicle capable of highway speeds, a wave of more affordable plug-in cars are coming to market. And California, the state with the nation’s largest auto market, the worst air quality and the most stringent emissions rules, is the first to catch the tide.

By summer’s end, nearly a dozen plug-in cars and crossovers may be traveling the state’s highways, including five or so that are arriving before the end of August.

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A version of this article appeared in print on July 1, 2012, on page AU1 of the New York edition with the headline: This Summer, Electric Cars Are Merging Into California’s Traffic.

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