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Monday, December 26, 2011

Twice As Many Charging Stations in U.S. as Flex Fuel Stations

Public charging stations for electric cars already out number outlets for E85 fuel by almost two to one.

The BGOV Barometer shows drivers of the approximately 16,500 highway-worthy electric vehicles in the U.S. can choose from 4,448 public charging stations should they want to plug in someplace other than home or work, according to U.S. Energy Department data.

That’s one per 3.7 electric car. That compares with 2,468 places to fill up the 7.6 million vehicles that can run on E85, a fuel that is 85 percent ethanol. E85-capable vehicles, also known as flex-fuel vehicles, can run on either E85 or traditional gasoline.

The Obama administration is pushing for still more charging stations, with $230 million worth of support from the Energy Department and private investment. Ecotality Inc. (ECTY) received funds under the federal program to install 14,000 chargers in 18 metropolitan areas in six states and the District of Columbia.

The number of charging stations available today is “a good start,” said Brian Wynne, president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association. Fifteen electric models will be will be brought to market by the end of 2014.

“Bear in mind that this is going to change quite dramatically,” Wynne said of electric-vehicle demand. “We’re selling every car we make. The question is what kind of a curve are we on.”

Nissan announced Dec. 6 it would expand Leaf sales to 30 U.S. states on Dec. 11 and plans to take orders for it in all 50 states by March.

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