that is keeping most drivers from seriously considering an EV is range anxiety.
Many drivers fear being stranded on the side of the road if their batteries run
dead unexpectedly. Early reports of inaccurate range readings from some EV
owners did nothing to help alleviate range worries of many people that might
otherwise be interested in an EV.
Many larger cities are moving towards making EVs a more compelling option by
installing a range of charging stations around the city. One
of the latest cities to do so is Seattle, Washington. Seattle is the third
largest EV market behind San Francisco and LA.
of the stations will be installed in public areas like the parking lot at Qwest
Field. These are the first of 1,000 commercial chargers to be installed around
the Puget Sound area by the end of 2011.
the chargers are being funded by the federal EV Project.
Half of those chargers will be installed in the homes of EV owners and the
remainder will be public chargers. Washington is one of six states that are
participating in the EV Project that will see 14,000 new chargers installed
across the country.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGuinn said, "The need to drive and the demand for
driving is going to remain, but we need to give people more efficient options
and better options for clean energy. We'll do all we can to make sure Seattle
Seattle will also be installing chargers along Interstate 5. The chargers in
the Qwest Stadium parking lot take an hour to charge the batteries enough for
15-22 miles of driving. Other locations will get more powerful chargers that
can supply enough juice for the same driving range in a 20-minute charge. The
EV Project will cover the $3,000 price of the charger and most of the
installation fees for all of the chargers around the country placed in driver
chargers will be installed in nationwide in homes with the remainder of the
14,000 chargers going into public locations. Most of the chargers will be
installed on the west coast. Charging at the stations to start with will initially
be free. After the free period, the chargers will sell charge time for "a
The federal government is also working with major technology firms like Google
to expand the number of charging stations for EVs around the country. Google
added the location
of charging stations to Google Maps in April to help drivers find
places to charge near them. While the EV industry and many other people hope the
charging stations catch on and help lure drivers to EVs, a report published in
February found that it was impossible
to reach Obama's stated goal of getting a million EVs on the road by
As it is today, the most common EVs using the public charging stations are the
Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Roadster, and the Nissan Leaf. The Leaf has had its share
of problems so far with the latest issue
being confirmed in April. The issue according to Nissan is that the
Leaf will not start at times. The Volt isn't a pure EV it is an extended range
electric vehicle. It has a gasoline engine to provide power when the batteries
run out, but the Volt can plug into charging stations as well. GM recently
announced that it was boosting
Volt production to meet the demand.