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More electric car charging stations open in Atlanta

From an apartment complex in Midtown to a Buckhead gas station and an Alpharetta hotel, electric vehicle charging stations are popping up in greater numbers around metro Atlanta despite questions about how much they’ll be used.

Behind the rising numbers: a federal government program that pays part of the cost to homeowners or businesses that install chargers, with a goal of making them handy enough to encourage use of plug-in electric cars.

About 80 have been installed since August under the program, which aims to add 425 public and private charging stations in metro Atlanta by the end of April, according to the city of Atlanta. An unknown number, perhaps in the dozens, had been installed before the subsidy was available.

The program is available across the region, but the city is pushing businesses, shopping malls and other public places to install the chargers so “EV” owners can juice their vehicles when away from home.

Encouraging people to drive alternative-fueled vehicles is part of the city’s environmental and sustainability plan.

“Overall what the city is trying to really do is reduce its environmental footprint,” said Denise Quarles, the city’s sustainability director.

Usage data from the chargers installed under the subsidy program will be collected through December.

“Realistically if we get 200 to 250, 300 installed, that will be fairly good,” said Don Francis, president of the EV Club of the South. The club says there are 2,000 electric vehicles in the 10-county metro area.


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