Albany plugs future of electric cars
City welcomes recharging stations for upcoming generation of vehicles
ALBANY -- Sometime this summer, the first electric car charging station should appear in the city, allowing owners to recharge vehicles away from home.
On Thursday, city and state officials announced a pilot program that aims to install 15 stations at key locations throughout the city to encourage use of no-emissions electric cars.
Mayor Jerry Jennings, who arrived at the news conference outside of the State University of New York headquarters on Broadway in a new Chevrolet Volt electric car, called the city an "ideal hub for electric vehicle recharging infrastructure as we plan for regional adoption of electric vehicles."
The $200,000 project is supported by the city, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, state Transportation Department, DeNooyer Chevrolet and VHB Engineering, Surveying and Landscape Architecture.
A study will be done to determine the best locations for such charging stations, said Janet Joseph, a NYSERDA vice president. She said electric cars will help both reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, which are driving man-made global warming, and reduce transportation costs and fossil fuel imports.
Joseph said the mileage of a fully charged electric car is the equivalent of gasoline priced at about $1.75 a gallon, which is well less than half of the current retail price of gasoline.
The first charging stations could be installed over the summer, at possible locations like Albany City Hall or the University at Albany, while the study examines other key potential locations, added Joseph Tario, senior project manager at NYSERDA.
The stations will allow two vehicles to recharge at one, said James Stamos, president of Green Power Technology, of Oyster Bay, Long Island, which is manufacturing the stations. Vehicles can fully recharge in about four hours.
Stamos said stations, which cost about $4,000 each to install, will sell electricity that can be paid for through either a transponder-type card, like that used to pay for tolls on the state Thruway, or a no-touch credit card. Customers will be able to monitor charges and electrical consumption through a special Web site, he added.
Electric car owners can recharge at home, but are without places to plug in elsewhere in the city.
But that has not dampened demand for electric cars, said Joe DeNooyer, of DeNooyer Chevrolet, which provided two new 2011 Chevrolet Volt cars for the news event. The dealership has 15 Volts available and 10 of the cars have been pre-ordered. The vehicle has a list price of $40,280. It is eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.
The Volt can travel about 40 miles on a charge, and also has a gasoline engine for longer trips.
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