A few days ago, I headed to a local mall and got a pleasant surprise — other than finally finding a pair of jeans that makes me look like I actually have hips. On my way through the parking lot, I noticed something that I’d never seen in person before. Next to the parking spaces reserved for the disabled and the maternity spaces, there were four reserved spaces with one of these for each:
While I love getting the best possible spot in those endless seas of asphalt, steel, and rubber, it’s nice to see that one of the latest waves in auto technology is being accommodated. Especially when that technology is designed to help the environment. I’m of course referring to electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs).
This technology isn’t only good for Mother Nature. It’s also incredibly beneficial for electric vehicle owners. With current EV technology, these charging stations allow drivers to extend their trips up to 100 miles with each charge. Depending on the kind of charging station, that extra mileage may not cost drivers anything because some hosts of charging stations are footing the bills. Private companies, like the one that owns the mall with the crazy good denim section I mentioned, aren’t the only ones getting in the game, either. Several cities around the U.S. are investing in charging stations to promote greener driving and to attract residents, consumers, and businesses.
So when can you expect to see these charging stations in a parking lot near you if you haven’t already? With the number of charging stations around the U.S. at over 12,500 and growing rapidly, it won’t be too long.
For more information on this exciting new technology, visit the U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center. It provides a lot of great information on EVs, HEVs, and PHEVs, including an alternative fuel station locator and trip planner. If you’re interested in hosting a charging station at your place of business, the DOE site explains everything from costs and benefits to laws and incentives.