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Charging stations can draw people downtown

America’s small towns need to take actions that can give hope to their local retailers for their future survival. A town can offer incentives to people to come into the town and shop there. One positive and inexpensive action a town could take would be to set up charging stations for hybrid electric vehicles.

Hybrid vehicles are automobiles that use a combination of gasoline and electricity to power them. Electric vehicles require different amounts of voltage, depending on the make and model.

Both hybrid and electric cars lower mileage costs, because the electric charges they need cost less than gasoline, which is more expensive to use, and likely to become even more expensive in the future. Right now, it is estimated that plug-in electric vehicles can be driven for about one-third of the cost of a gasoline-fueled automobile.

There are about 2 million hybrid and electric vehicles registered in the United States now, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association, which claims that, “Over the next two to three years, all major automakers – and some start-ups – intend to put” plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on the road.

Everyone knows change is inevitable, but the change to electric cars is slow in coming. The cost of hybrid cars still hampers sales. Even more, for electric vehicles, there is fear among potential buyers about where they will be able to get charges for their cars, on the road.

Electric vehicle charging stations can play a vital role in reducing that concern. Both hybrid and electric cars passing through our local towns need electric fuel recharging stations. If several of our towns were to invest in putting up charging stations, which are low cost, the results could be very beneficial to our local economy. Visitors driving electric or hybrid automobiles could stop in the town’s downtown district or at one of the big mall locations to eat at a local restaurant and then do retail shopping while their car gets a two-hour recharge, before they continue traveling elsewhere.

Electric charging stations can be installed anywhere near electric outlets at gas stations, auto supply shops, shopping malls, downtown retail districts, hotels or even on a municipal parking lot. All that is needed is space for one car to be parked for service at the electric vehicle charging station, using a dedicated special circuit, with its own circuit breaker. That sounds technically complicated, but it is not.


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