SAN ANTONIO -

Most of them look like souped-up golf carts, and for the most part, they are.

But city officials are hoping they can help reduce air and noise pollution in San Antonio.

Last night the San Antonio City Council approved an ordinance allowing Neighborhood Electric Vehicles on city streets with speed limits of 35 mph and lower.

Although they have been legal state-wide on roads with speed limits of 45 mph or less, up until Thursday, the vehicles could only be driven in streets in gated communities within the city limits.

The vehicles have certain advantages over gas-powered cars.

"They're clean. They are really inexpensive to operate, and they are quiet," said Mary Hammer, interim director of the City of San Antonio's Office of Sustainability.

They also have an advantage over full-sized electric cars, too.

"Another thing that is cool about them is that they plug into any regular standard outlet. You don't have to find an electric vehicle charger -- a special charger -- they'll plug in anywhere," Hammer said.

One thing that is the exact the same about the vehicles is that all of the rules of the road apply.

You still have to fasten your seat belt, use turn signals, and you can't text and drive either.

"You can't drink and drive. The same things that applies to vehicles -- regular gas-powered vehicles -- applies to Neighborhood Electric Vehicles," said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus.

SAPD had input on drafting the ordinance as far as their ability to use city streets safely.

Many people we spoke with were open to using them in the future.

"Maybe drive it around the neighborhood or something (or) if I actually lived and worked downtown all the time. It's possible I guess," said Mike Davis, 31, of San Antonio.

However, some balked at the $22,500 price tag of one of the NEVs on display at Friday's press conference.

"I can't afford that kind of money. If it was available for anybody I would, but that kind of money? I don't have that kind of money," said Raymond Salazar, 33, of San Antonio.

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