Raleigh, N.C. — With an increase of electric cars on the road, cities like Raleigh are adding more public charging stations.
Last week, Raleigh put the final touches on its 29th charging station. Eighteen stations are already open to the public, mainly in downtown, and 11 are in place for city-owned vehicles. One of the public stations is even located in the WRAL-TV studio parking lot on Western Boulevard.
"Raleigh prides itself as being a city of innovation," Assistant City Manager Julian Prosser said Monday.
Prosser said that's why Raleigh joined a nonprofit initiative a few years ago to become one of the first U.S. cities to install public car-charging stations. The public stations were only used 96 times last year, but they offset more than 19 tons of carbon dioxide in vehicle exhaust. This year, the usage is expected to go up, Prosser said.
"We think the demand will increase, and I would not be surprised to see a significant increase," Prosser said.
For now, taxpayers are footing the bill for the electricity that drivers are using. Prosser said it's not a lot of money, but as more drivers use the stations, the city likely will start charging for them.
The city spent $125,000 for the charging stations. State and federal grants, as well as manufacturers' donations helped offset the rest of the costs.
Raleigh electric car charging stations (Red pins denote stations that have not gone online yet)
View Raleigh's electric car charging stations in a larger map