Market News

 June 28, 2010
Washington, Maryland install electric vehicle charging stations

  As several electric vehicles debut in the next year, Washington and Maryland are joining the increasing number of states and cities that are installing charging stations to promote battery-powered cars.

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire announced Monday that her state is receiving $1.32 million in federal stimulus funding to install charging stations along the 276 miles of Interstate 5, reaching from Oregon to Canada.

"With millions of gallons of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, the time is now to replace gas guzzlers with clean electric cars," Ross Macfarlane, Climate Solutions Senior Business Partnerships Advisor, said in the announcement. "Moving to electric vehicles is also one of the fastest ways that we can cut global warming pollution."

Similarly, Maryland is spending $1 million to build at least 64 charging stations -- many along Interstate 95 -- to lure battery-powered cars and trucks, reports The Baltimore Sun.

"The point is to make this available to the public," state energy administrator Malcolm Woolf says in the story, adding the charges will be free. "This really could be a geopolitical game-changer" and slash U.S. demand for oil, he says.

Woolf says many Marylanders drive fewer than 40 miles per day, which is within the range of the Chevy Volt, Ford Focus, Nissan Leaf and other battery-powered cars that will become available in the next year or two.

California-based company, Coulomb Technologies, plans to install more than 4,600 charging stations in nine metropolitan areas, including San Francisco, Sacramento, Austin, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Fla., Redmond, Wash., and Washington, D.C., reports the San Jose Mercury News.

The $37 million "ChargePoint America" program, partially funded by a $15 million Department of Energy grant, plans to have 1,000 public charging stations ready by the end of 2010, according to the story.

Another California-based technology company, AeroVironment Inc., is building 60 to 100 charging stations for electric vehicles in seven South Carolina cities as part of a contract with the non-profit Plug-In Carolina, sponsored by the state's major utilities, reports the Los Angeles Times. The stations will be operational by Dec. 1.