New electric car charging stations sprouting up in the area

With Pima County being a test market for new electric vehicles in the near future, there is a big need for charging stations in the area.

Thanks to a federal grant, and public-private partnership, two new charging stations were unveiled in the parking lot of the Frye's grocery store in Sahuarita, on Saturday morning.

The goal was to have at least 125 charging stations in the Pima County area, by the end of 2012.

For electric car owners like Jason Trible, it was great news.  Trible was the proud owner of a Nissan Leaf.

He said it would juice up his car without draining his wallet.

"I believe a full tank will cost about $3-4, so it's significant savings from gasoline," said Trible.

Colleen Crowninshield, Manager of the Energy Program with the Pima Association of Governments said, with all car manufacturers about to unveil electric cars in the near future, charging stations would be in high demand.

"In the next 3 years you're going to see just about every major auto manufacturer building some sort of electric vehicle," said Crowninshield.

Up front, it might cost a little more to buy an electric car, but Trible said the savings came later.

"Its much more efficient than a gasoline car. It gets us off foreign energy sources, and it's green," said Trible.

The federal government has allocated about $100 Million to put up charging stations, but those managing the funds said they were relying on public-private partnerships to make it happen.

They were asking local businesses to step up.

Apart from Bookmans, Pima County libraries and the Oro Valley town hall had already installed electric charging stations in their parking lots.

In the future, officials hoped to see new ones coming to the Tucson Convention Center, area malls, parking garages, gas stations, and even Pima Community College.

Right now, we're told there are about 200 electrical car owners in the greater Tucson area. @