Local News

Raleigh joins utility in plug-in car project

Posted February 24, 2009 5:27 p.m. EST
Updated February 24, 2009 5:54 p.m. EST

— Raleigh is teaming with Progress Energy Inc. and consulting and research firm Advanced Energy Corp. to develop charging stations around the city for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The city is one of three locations nationwide to participate in Project Get Ready, a nonprofit initiative designed to create a variety of steps communities can take to prepare for the introduction of plug-in vehicles. Portland, Ore., and Indianapolis are the other cities participating in the effort.

Progress Energy and Advanced Energy will work with the city to develop eight sites across Raleigh for vehicle-charging stations. Some will be in parking garages and on streets downtown, and officials also are looking at installing them at North Hills.

The utility will pay to install the stations, which cost about $1,000 each and will accept credit card payments to charge up a plug-in hybrid.

Mayor Charles Meeker said he wants Raleigh to be ready when mass production of plug-in vehicles begins in a couple of years. President Barack Obama has set a goal of putting 1 million such vehicles on the street by 2015.

"This is an initiative that we hope is going to spread nationwide. We're hoping electric cars will become something that won't just be a novelty, but could become a significant form of transportation over the next three to five years," Meeker said.