San-Fran is leading the way
Electric cars have long been rumoured to be the future of urban transport in America, but while their arrival might be slightly delayed due to the recent Toyota recalls, US cities are preparing for their arrival with San Francisco leading the way.
The city has recently revised its building code requiring that all new structures have to be wired for EV (electric vehicles) chargers, enabling the 'refueling' of electric cars. And the city's leaders are leading by example with a charging stations installed across the street from City Hall.
However, it's just not the environmental concerns of the local council that are fueling the electric car revolution, the city's location has also helped.
San Francisco's Silicon Valley is home to a whole host of EV companies including Coulomb Technologies, Better Place and Tesla Motors. As such, green cars have done well in the city, with 1 in 5 cars being sold in some parts of the city being a Prius.
It also helps that the headquarters of Pacific Gas and Electric are in the city, and executives are already looking at 'heat maps' of the neighborhoods in case of overloads. As such, the company are looking at scheduling a 'smart charging project' which would see 200 EVs connected to charging stations to control electrical demand.
By making a smart charging grid, it will ensure power outages don't occur should a large number of EV users try to charge their cars at the same time (on the way to and from work for example).
It's not just San Francisco however, Portland and San Diego are also getting on the EV bandwagon, showing enthusiasm for both new technology and green business.
Car companies are also racing to meet potential demand. While Toyota are currently undergoing crisis management, Nissan is about to unveil The Leaf, a five-passenger electric car that will have a range of 100 miles on a fully charged battery and be priced for middle-class families.
Speaking to the New York Times, Carlos Ghosm, Nissan's President, was excited about the company's future prospects. “This is the game-changer for our industry,” he said, predicting that 10 percent of the cars sold would be electric vehicles by 2020.
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