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Showing off the family joules

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

If high school yearbooks listed a "least likely to go green," John Wood might well have earned the title.

"I love drag racing, I love the fast cars, I love the power," explained Wood, who lives in Cypress.

His three-car garage is a shrine to the internal combustion engine. And at one point, John and his wife Michelle had three V-8's in there.

"We probably had 2,000 horsepower in this garage. And you should see what I have now."

What the Woods have now are matching Chevy Volts, electric cars that can travel about 42 miles on a charge before their gasoline-powered generators kick on to recharge the batteries.

With a well-planned itinerary that includes charging stops, they've been able to minimize their gas consumption.

"I put, I think, 1,300 miles on a tank of gas," said Michelle Wood. "So it's awesome!"

Her car displays its lifetime average gas mileage to be 177 MPG.

The Woods say they crunched the numbers and discovered they could purchase and operate two electric cars for what they were already spending to keep one gas guzzler current on its payments and fueled up.

The couple tells FOX 26 News they received a $7500 tax credit for each Volt and they installed a pair of 220-volt charging stations in their garage for pennies on the dollar, since the hardware is heavily subsidized.

Those saved dollars make sense to the Woods but not necessarily to all their friends.

"I work for an oil and gas company," explained Michelle Wood. "So all the guys are like, ‘Why would you drive an electric car?' It's my pocketbook. I pay the bills."

And what do the neighbors think?

"They're confused," said John Wood, "because I went from being the guy having the loud cars on the street to being the guy that's got the quiet cars on the street."

When it comes to electric cars, Wood is now a true believer. He just hasn't been able to convert any of his gas guzzling friends … yet.

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