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USA: Village to Get Charging Stations

Martin Sepko is charged up about having more electric car-charging stations in Moore County.

“It would definitely be a plus,” said Sepko, a Carthage resident who was among the first in Moore County to own an electric car.

The Pinehurst Village Council has approved plans to work with Progress Energy Carolinas on installing two charging stations in the sand parking lot downtown.

The units will be installed for free. Pinehurst would only be responsible for the cost of electricity, which a Progress Energy spokesperson said would be about $100 a year per station. A similar station to be installed in Pinehurst costs approximately $2,200.

The stations only charge electric cars. They are incompatible with electric golf carts.

Customers can use the chargers by swiping their credit cards.

Sepko and his wife, Lora, bought their Chevy Volt in October. He said he thinks a local charging station would definitely be a small thing that could sway more people to choose this area as a destination, or as a stopping point on their trip.

“When they get those stations up and available, it would definitely be a plus,” he said. “A lot of people from out of state like to drive their electric vehicle and they also like to know they can charge it up when they get there.”

The stations are planned to be installed in September, according to a Progress Energy spokesperson.

The two stations will be in the downtown parking lot in a location that won’t be affected by construction that could occur if proposed enhancements move forward.

The program is partly funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Currently, 24 electric charging stations have been installed in the Carolinas. The first two stations were installed in Cary in September 2011. Several have been installed in Raleigh. The closest two stations to Moore County are in Pittsboro on the campus of Central Carolina Community College.

Data collected from the stations will help the power company evaluate the charging needs outside of the home, said Progress Energy spokesperson Lauren Bradford.

It is also hoped that access to public charging stations will allow owners of electric cars to travel greater distances and also boost use of electric cars, she added.
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