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USA: Electric cars to get free parking in Las Vegas

Early adopters of electric cars will get an extra perk from Las Vegas City Hall at the start of the new year, when a program is launched allowing qualified vehicles to park downtown for free.

The new program, approved at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, will allow drivers of electric cars to park for free in city-operated lots, parking areas and metered parking zones.

To register, owners must file for a permit with the city and pay $10.

The change was prompted in part by a bill passed by the Nevada Legislature last session requiring local governments to establish free parking programs for alternative fuel vehicles.

Las Vegas’ program comes with several restrictions, most notably that the car must be powered by an electric motor drawing power from a battery that can be recharged by an external electricity source.

This means the ordinance won’t apply to drivers of the Toyota Prius or the Ford Fusion hybrids, city spokeswoman Diana Paul said.

The only mainstream vehicles that currently qualify for the program are the electric-powered Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt, she said.

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