First Electric Vehicle Charging Network Launches in South Carolina
December 8, 2010
State and local governments are joining together in an effort to expand the opportunity to own an electric car by launching a network of car charging stations across South Carolina.
The company called Plug In Carolina hopes to show the consumer that owning an electric car can be just as convenient as owning a gas powered car, help save the environment and help save them money.
Plug In Carolina is opening 100 vehicle charging stations in 9 cities across South Carolina including Spartanburg Columbia, Union, Rock Hill, Greenville. By the end of January they will also open up stations in Charleston, Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach.
Governor Mark Sanford says the investment in the charging stations is a big step in becoming energy self sufficient.
“I think it’s a lot of jobs that are going to come in the state and investments in clean energy and i think its also about good things to come in regard to less and less in the way of reliance on foreign energy,” said Sanford.
The charging stations will power plug in vehicle’s that run off a battery charge instead of gasoline saving a lot of money in fuel costs.
“Where it costs 11 cents to drive a mile in gasoline it costs 3 cents to drive a mile in electricity,” said James Poch, Executive Director of Plug In Carolina.
The vehicles will be sold by Tomberlin, a company from Augusta, Georgia that developed a commuter car for cleaner navigation in urban areas.
Larger companies will also sell the electric and hybrid cars including Toyota and Chevrolet.
The new class of vehicles does not require new driving behaviors. Approximately 15 billion miles are driven by Americans on a weekly basis for short commuting within 7 miles of home.
Estimates of the benefits gained by 50,000 Electric Close-in Commuter Vehicles, or cars that run solely on electricity, replacing 50,000 gasoline powered vehicles driven in the city, results in annualized reductions as high as: 41,650,000 gallons of fuel, 187,500 gallons of motor oil, 150,000 gallons of automatic transmission fluid, and 75,000 gallons of ethylene glycol coolant.
The charging stations will be able to charge any electric car and are easy to use, much like stopping at a gas station.
There are level two and level three charging stations. A level two station takes about 4-8 hours to charge your vehicle; something many people could do while at work or overnight.
A level 3 charging station takes only about 30 minutes to charge your vehicle, something more convenient to use at a rest stop.
“The town of Blythewood invested in the charging stations because they figured while customers were stopping to charge their vehicle, they also would have enough time to stop in and eat at their restaurants,” said Poch.
Poch also says the cars may be expensive when they’re first released because of new technology that is being used, but the consumer will save on maintenance costs like oil changes and frequent tune-ups.
“The electric vehicles themselves are coming out $10,000 or so more than their comparable gasoline car but there significant tax credits in place today,” said Poch.
Those tax credits total about $7,500 per person.
The charging stations were paid for through taxpayer funded grants totaling $480,000. The federal and state funded grants came from the South Carolina Energy Office and the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program.
As Governor Sanford finishes his term he said the launching of the charging stations showed just how much progress the state has made in becoming more environmentally conscious.
“I think it’s an indicator of where we’ve come from in terms of being quote green and conservative,” said Sanford.
(taken from wspa.com