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Torrance officials seek network of publicly accessible charging stations

An electric car charging station is photographed at Cal State University Long Beach on Oct. 4, 2013. On Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, the Torrance City Council is expected to approve a plan to install a network of them throughout the city. (Photo by Brittany Murray/Long Beach Press-Telegram)

When Torrance-based Honda loaned the city an electric car in January 2012 as part of a research program, municipal officials figured two vehicle charging stations installed at City Hall would provide an adequate source of juice.

It hasn’t worked out that way.

The two charging stations are so popular with motorists that city employees often find it difficult to access the facilities themselves.

“It has not been uncommon for EV drivers to wait in employee parking stalls or in nondesignated parking areas for a charging space to become available,” said a municipal report on the issue prepared for this week’s City Council meeting. “In some cases, members of the public have even unplugged other vehicles in order to gain access to the charging stations.”

Seeking to overcome the lack of infrastructure locally to support the increasing number of electric cars on the road, Torrance officials want to establish a network of publicly accessible charging stations in the city.

The City Council will discuss the proposal at its 7 p.m. Tuesday meeting at City Hall, 3031 Torrance Blvd.
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