As I covered earlier at MSN Autos Exhaust Notes blog, drug store giant Walgreen has announced an initiative to become the largest host of public electric vehicle charging stations in the country. The plan calls for 800 such 240-volt charging stations, built with partners including Car Charging Group, 350Green and NRG Energy, to be installed at Walgreen locations around the country; according to the current plans, EV drivers looking for a boost would be charged between $3 and $4 for a 90-minute connection, with exact prices varying based on grid prices for electricity in various locations. Most importantly, though, the announcement puts a major corporate name behind the rapid expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The biggest obstacle to the burgeoning economy / emerging technology that is electric vehicles is the lack of a charging infrastructure. Range anxiety–the fear that one will run out of charge before the end of a trip without recourse to refueling–is a valid concern: electric vehicle charging stations are few and far between even in the parts of the country most progressive where alternative energy is concerned. By creating a sort of add-on infrastructure, implementing charging stations within an existing network of stores in high-traffic areas across the country, the task of creating a viable nationwide EV charging network suddenly becomes less daunting–especially if ostensibly eco-minded chains such as Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Starbucks jump on board.
Read more at Exhaust Notes.