A trip to Sarasota tapped into the gas tank for the first time.
It was a first for Dori and Jim Johnson since purchasing their hybrid electric car in June.
"This is the gas that the dealer put in," Jim Johnson said.
The couple, from Naples, made the trip in to Sarasota in their Cadillac ELR Saturday to participate in the annual "Electrify the Island" celebration.
About 50 electric-car owners came out to the third annual event outside the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, on Sarasota's City Island. The event was part of National Drive Electric Week, which ends Sunday.
"Electric cars are not for everyone," Jim Johnson said.
But this couple was all smiles about their decision to go hybrid. After having previously owned luxury cars, they did not have to give up on looks or comfort when they made the decision either thanks to the Cadillac ELR.
"For us it's the perfect car," he said. "It wasn't about the money to me."
In addition to all the luxuries a Cadillac boasts, the car's battery has an eight-year warranty and the oil only needs to be changed when gasoline is being used in the vehicle. The car also comes with maintenance for four years.
Chatting with the Johnsons was George Wisnewski. His Cadillac ELR was also on display at the event.
The OnStar application and its many features also was a bonus, they all agreed. From the application, they can turn on or switch off the car, make the horn honk or even check the battery's charging progress.
"I was charging my car at home once and the power went off," Wisnewski said. "The phone rang then and it was a recording that said, 'The power went out and your vehicle is not charging.'"
Organizer Chris Sharek said he was pleased with the enthusiasm for electric cars Saturday at Mote.
A owner of more than one electric cars himself, Sharek was offering test drives in his Cadillac ELR so passengers could appreciate what it has to offer.
"This is like a Chevrolet Volt, with a tuxedo," Sharek said.
An environmental engineer and the author of the book, "The Electric Car Revolution," Sharek, who also owns a Volt which he plans to pass down to his son, said of his Volt, "I had my first oil change at 50,000 miles. It is much less maintenance."
Some people came out to the event in preparation to make the decision to go electric.
Jerry Van Renesse, camera in hand, was checking out what each model had to offer.
"It's a great presentation with the test drives and everything," he said.
With a brother who already has a hybrid and who is considering converting to fully electric, he said he'd like to purchase a hybrid himself, he said. Driving his decision is the alternative fuel and mileage.
"On the highway, you are over the place and cars just suck (gasoline) up," Van Renesse said.
The event was sponsored in part by Florida Power & Light and there were representatives at the event to aid in education of electric cars and to demonstrate the company's support.
"They are clean; they are good for the environment; they are helping us support energy independence; and most importantly, they are fun," FPL spokesman Bill Orlove said.
It costs the average electric car driver about 77 cents to charge a car a day, according to Orlove. FPL has also began going hybrid with many of its vehicles in its fleet and even some of its bucket trucks.
"Most importantly, you are doing your part for the environment," Orlove said. "All the fuel -- natural gas mostly -- we are using to create the fuel is much cleaner."
For Al Lococo and his wife, electric cars are a way of life.
Lococo first had an electric car in 1979 when he converted his 1972 Datsun to electric.
In 2007, he converted his 1999 Ford Ranger to electric.
Today, he and his wife own a Nissan Leaf and Toyota RAV4 EV. Their newest, the RAV4, was on display on Saturday.
"We love it," he said. "When I got the Leaf, I sold my gas car."
Now with their latest addition, the Winter Haven couple travel near and far, and all on electric. They have taken the electric car to Virginia on the auto train and then drove to New York and back.
" There is no place we have ever wanted to go that we couldn't go," he said.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.