The upcoming debut of electric cars in North Carolina has the state making plans to support the eco-friendly new cars – and their owners – with services like charging stations. Chevrolet says its Chevy Volt will arrive in North Carolina dealerships this fall, and Ford has announced that Raleigh-Durham will be among the first markets to receive its new electric Ford Focus.
In advance of the arrivals of these fuel efficient electric cars, communities across the state are going green by paving the way for services such as public charging stations.
In the fall of 2010, the city of Raleigh, North Carolina began installing electric car charging stations in downtown locations, including Nash Square, in front of City Hall, and near the convention center. City officials are convinced that the commitment to support sustainable vehicles will make Raleigh a leader in the electric car green technology in the Southeast.
“We’re trying to get ahead of this, but also trying to anticipate consumer demand,” Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker says. “There are a lot of people interested in green activities right now, and this is certainly one of them.”
North Carolina State University in Raleigh was also at the forefront of the trend toward going green. The school installed a pair of public electric car charging stations for students and visitors.
The state’s largest electric car charging project to date is located at the new Green Square parking garage in downtown Raleigh, which serves the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Among the many eco-friendly features of the garage are 23 spaces with charging stations for electric cars.
The Ritz Carlton hotel on East Trade Street in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina – which has been going green since it first opened – recently installed an electric car charging station on the street in front of the hotel, and car charging is free for hotel guests.
The charging station is part of a comprehensive eco-friendly policy the Ritz-Cartlon promotes, including the widespread use of recycling programs and products, and is the first charging station installed by any hotel in the Southeast.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer this meaningful and relevant service to our guests,” says David Rothwell, general manager for The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. “We are also very grateful to be part of a city and state which lead the way in the field of clean energy, and we look forward to providing more such environmentally-focused guest conveniences in the future.”
Soon, there will be far more charging stations on street corners in Charlotte. Duke Energy and the city are cooperating on a plan to erect 150 of the stations in public locations around the city.
As far back as two years ago, some locations in North Carolina were already going green and preparing for the debut of electric cars. It was 2009 when the McDonald’s restaurant in Cary, North Carolina installed an electric car charging station as part of its eco-friendly construction plans.
“Our customers will have a dedicated place to park and recharge their vehicles,” owner Ric Richards said at the time. “McDonald’s is enabling a better environment for future generations by supporting zero-emissions transportation infrastructure.”