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Hoosier charging stations could fuel electric car interest

Updated: September 17, 2011 11:36PM



INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Efforts to reduce anxiety over battery life and encourage more people to drive electric cars could get a boost as Indiana prepares to open 76 charging stations across the state.

Energy Systems Network plans to use $1.9 million in federal stimulus grants to place charging stations at 38 locations statewide by the end of the year.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports 73 of the units will offer 240-volt charges, which are standard for cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet’s Volt.

Many of the stations are slated for shopping centers and malls.

Indianapolis Power & Light, which already operates four public charging units in Indianapolis, plans to install up to 150 charging stations by the end of 2012, including at the Indiana Convention Center, the Jewish Community Center and at a library branch.

Duke Energy, the largest utility serving the state, has plans for 125 stations, including 90 at residential locations and 35 in commercial spaces, said utility spokesman Lew Middleton.

IPL charges $2.50 per session to charge vehicles at a downtown Indianapolis garage. But Paul Mitchell, president and CEO of Energy Systems Network, said it’s possible owners of shopping centers and malls might cover the cost as a way to get people to come in and shop while their vehicles are charging.

The Herald-Times in Bloomington reported some of the charging stations will be located at Lake Monroe and the state parks that ring Bloomington — Spring Mill, McCormick’s Creek and Brown County.

Duke spokeswoman Angeline Protogere said the park locations are primarily for use by park rangers, who have been testing Think City electric cars. She said the utility also is pursuing contracts with commercial locations for additional charging stations.

Still, drivers who need a full charge might also need a lot of time. Charging times for electric cars take about 20 hours on a standard 110-volt service and seven to eight hours at 220/240 volts.



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