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The city of San Francisco, Calif., will install electric vehicle charging stations in publicly-owned garages and at San Francisco International Airport by the end of the year that drivers can use for free until 2013.
The plan involves dropping around 90 charging stations across the city in the hopes of encouraging more residents to purchase electric cars and make them easier to use. Charging stations are already scattered across the city — drivers can find out where they are through Google Maps. The average cost to charge an electric car at a charging station is usually around $0.12 per kilowatt-hour — and most batteries carry a charge between 20 and 40 kilowatt-hours, meaning drivers will save around a whopping $3.
The charging stations are more beneficial for people who live outside the city and should actually encourage more electric car owners to make a commute into San Francisco. The stations will feature 110-volt and fast-charging 240-volt options — which can charge an electric car like the Nissan Leaf to an 80-percent charge in around 3 hours. So drivers can simply drop off their cars while they head off to work or visit the city and return to have a near-full or full charge to make it back out of the city.
Most electric cars are typically limited in their range. The Nissan Leaf, one of the cheapest electric cars at $33,000, can travel around 100 miles before needing a charge. Tesla Motors’ super-powered batteries last much longer, but the cars are significantly more expensive — the Roadster, for example, can travel around 200 miles but costs $109,000. That company’s next car, a sedan, will be less expensive and can travel up to 300 miles, but it will still be significantly more expensive than the Nissan Leaf.
Here are the garages in San Francisco that will feature free charging stations:
Civic Center garage
Ellis O’Farrell garage
Fifth & Mission garage
General Hospital garage
Golden Gateway garage
Japan Center garage
Mission Bartlett garage
Moscone Center garage
North Beach garage
Performing Arts garage
Pierce Lombard garage
Polk Bush garage
Portsmouth Square garage
San Francisco International Airport garages
St. Mary’s Square garage
1600 Mission Street garage
Stockton Sutter garage
Union Square garage
Vallejo Street garage
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