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USA: Surprise getting 8 electric-vehicle charging stations

Electric-car owners should soon be able to cruise around Surprise without worrying about their batteries running out of juice — a charging station will likely be nearby.

ECOtality Inc., a Calif.-based green technology company, is partnering with Surprise and private businesses to install electric-vehicle charging stations around the city. A station was installed in the parking garage at City Hall this week and seven others are likely to open during the first half of 2012.

The stations look like small gas pumps, except the hose carries a 240-volt electric current, not gasoline. It is designed to recharge new cars like the Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi i-MiEV that run solely on electricity as well as hybrid models.

Surprise is among other cities receiving the stations through a $230 million federal stimulus-funded program; about 14,000 chargers are being installed in 18 major cities and metro areas using money from the stimulus and private partners. Other cities in Arizona include Phoenix, Chandler, Tempe, Peoria and Tucson.

Electric movement

Terry Lowe, who heads the city’s Sustainability Division, called the project an exciting “opportunity to get in front of the electric-vehicle movement that the federal government has been pushing.”
More azcentral.com

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