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USA: New electric-car charging stations coming to Sonoma County

Sonoma County officials are taking steps this year to significantly expand the region’s number of charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles, an effort to jump-start a relatively new sector of green transportation.

Through a $1.4 million package of state and federal grants and funding from local governments, the county expects to add as many as 100 charging stations in cities and other spots across the region starting in spring.

That would add to the more than 40 stations that exist in the area, most of them government-operated. Businesses, including several wineries, operate at least a half-dozen stations, and some are making plans to install more.

The county-led effort, several years in the making, is meant to expand the region’s infrastructure for plug-in drivers in a bid to attract more business, especially the ecotourism often linked to area wineries and parks, officials said.

“It’s a critical move in us furthering our reputation as a green county,” said Supervisor Shirlee Zane, chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors.

The goal is to make it more convenient for those visitors and local drivers using plug-in electric vehicles. Currently those drivers can experience what’s known as “range anxiety,” when they travel beyond striking distance of charging stations, most of which are in Santa Rosa, with a few others scattered about the region.



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