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USA: Planning for a world of plug-in cars

AQMD Engineer Jeanne Villacorte charges her 2011 Nissan Leaf, an all-electric plug-in car at the charging station during the California Community Plug-In Electric Vehicle Readiness Workshop hosted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District in Diamond Bar on Tuesday. (SGVN/Staff photo by Watchara Phomicinda)

DIAMOND BAR – Rick Reinhard took his date to Pasadena for dinner and a movie because he could park in one of the city’s electric-car charging stations.

As an engineer with Nissan North America’s electric car division, he had to drive an electric car.

Reinhard told the story Tuesday to a gathering of 125 representatives of cities, counties, green nonprofits and electric-car companies at the South Coast Air Quality Management District. His point? Charging stations are good for business – and sometimes for love.

Reinhard, who is now chief electrical engineer with Phoenix Motorcars in Ontario, ended up marrying his passenger. And he gave regular business to Pasadena eateries and entertainment venues.

Finding a place for electric vehicle owners to plug in is both a challenge and an opportunity, experts said at Tuesday’s seminar at the AQMD.


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