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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Electric cars used to seem like something of the future, but the future is now, and more folks around the nation and locally are buying hybrid and electric cars. The City of Wilmington and Progress Energy are teaming up to encourage more folks to get plugged in.

“We do have a commitment to sustainability here, so we’re hoping that this will encourage people to own electric vehicles,” City Councilman Kevin O’Grady said.

Tuesday night, City Council will consider a resolution to install two charging stations in the Market Street parking deck.

Progress Energy approached the city about the pilot project. The energy company will provide the equipment and install it.

During the two-year pilot program, there will be no additional charges for drivers charging their electric cars; only the standard parking deck fees already in place.

The city will only have to pay for the amount of electricity used, which is estimated to be about $10 a month.

O’Grady hopes this will encourage people to plug in and also help spark more business in the city.

“I hope it’s very successful,” he said. “I hope it’s in great demand, and then it will encourage private citizens to open electric charging stations for profit.”

As far as demand goes, O’Grady says he believes there are about 100 electric cars currently on the streets of wilmington.

Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Marketing Manager Mark Santilli says electric cars are in high demand. He thinks the charging stations are a great idea.

“The fossil fuel is not something that is going to last forever,” he said. “We will have to transition over to another fuel source. How long that takes is still undecided, but this is a start.”

Data from the Electrical Power Research Institute shows the number of electric cars in New Hanover County will increase from 134 in 2012 to 795 in 2015.

Council is expected to approve the plan tomorrow night. No word yet on when the stations will be installed.

Comment on this Story

  • Proctor

    How much does it cost to install these charging stations?

    This is ridiculous.

    If I’m inclined to buy an electric car I don’t expect the city to give me free electricity for it! It’s a choice. These should be PAY parking spots plus PAY charging station spots, like a car wash, you want a charge, put in a few quarters.

    Put this money towards fighting crime, it is a big problem in Wilmington.

    Do they care about our comments, No- they just shove what they think is good for us down our throats. What about living within our means?

    How’s Airlie Park working out, the Convention Center?

  • What’s the $10.00 per month for ?
    I’m not in favor of my tax dollars going to this.
    Are the outlets going to be metered ? Will this be a coin op thing ?
    How much will it cost per KW hours to use them ?
    Lots of questions here?

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    “Car dealerships we spoke with say electric cars are in high demand and flying out of showrooms.”

    That’s why Chevy is suspending production on the Volt?

    That’s because Nissan is getting blasted because of the Leaf performing nowhere near what was promised?

    That’s because the battery in the mega-buck Tesla is destroyed if you let the voltage run down completely?

    The Leaf and Volt had combined sales of 26,000 last year. That’s a fly-speck on the wall of national car sales. Not may people want a tiny car that requires recharging every one-hundred miles.

  • Robo

    O’Grady is completely out of touch with reality. There are very few electric only vehicles. Even the Chevy Volt has gasoline backup, so that leaves only the Nissan Leaf to use the charging stations. How many of those have been seen in the area?
    Hybrids do not require these stations, so they are a waste of taxpayer money. Of course Progress Energy would like to sell more electricity. What else is new.
    O’Grady needs to consider a new job.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    While it has a gasoline engine, it is there only to power a generator for the battery. It’s not a parallel hybrid, like the Prius. The engine never directly powers the car.

    The Volt is actually designed for you to plug it in every night, ten hour recharge on 120Vac, four hours on 240Vac.

    All for fifty miles of battery usage!

  • Guest CommonTater

    That’s why we have the council we have…..

  • guesty

    Why take tax money to directly benefit a few? Sure, it isn’t much but that is how these things start. Just a nickle here, a dime there. Next thing you know the city will be installing them everywhere and footing the bill. If they are installed, attach a timer similar to a parking meter to allow the juice to flow. This isn’t any different than the vehicle tax that was proposed not long ago that was to fund WAVE going to the beach.

    Let those that use it, pay for it.

  • Truthseeker

    What is City Council going to do next. Lets see, put hay on every street corner so people will travel on horses again. Our City Council is so out of touch with its constituents that it is embarrassing. Personally I will not vote for anyone presently on the City Council of Fools or anyone who was on it and running for another office. These morons are so far away from normal citizens desires for our community that even with complete removal of the present City Council of fools it would take years to resemble any type normalcy.

  • taxpayer

    This will be a real draw to get people downtown. Kevin O’Grady is so far out of touch with reality it’s beginning to smell. Ask Mark Santilli how many of these taxpayer-subsidized white elephants they’ve sold over the past year.

  • Jgd

    “The city will only have to pay for the amount of electricity used, which is estimated to be about $10 a month.”….

    Where did this estimate come from ? Could it be Progress Energy ? Something is not right about this figure . We the people are going to have to keep a very close eye on city council who are suppose to have our best interest at heart.


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