Plug In and Drive
Many automakers are in the process of creating their own versions of the 21st century electric car, and cities and states are looking to the...
Many automakers are in the process of creating their own versions of the 21st century electric car, and cities and states are looking to the vehicles to help cut down on carbon emissions. But in order to reap the benefits of electric cars, drivers will need to be able to charge their cars at home and on the road. States and cities are relying on public-private partnerships to create that infrastructure. In 2008, cities in the San Francisco Bay area and the state of Hawaii partnered with Better Place, a company that provides charging and battery-swap stations to create and support a charging network. And recently, a number of governments have been teaming up with the Renault-Nissan Alliance to turn themselves into "plug-in ready" initial markets when the automaker introduces its electric car in the United States in 2010. Seattle is one of the latest cities to announce such a partnership, part of Mayor Greg Nickels' broader focus on making transportation more climate-friendly. In the next 18 months, the city and the car manufacturer expect to investigate such potential challenges as where to install public charging stations and how to streamline the permit process for installing 220-volt lines for home charging. Other governments that have similiar partnerships with Renault-Nissan include the states of Oregon and Tennessee; the cities of Phoenix, Tucson and San Diego; and Sonoma County, California.
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