Blythewood opens first electric fueling station in the region - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Blythewood opens first electric fueling station in the region

By Brandi Cummings - bio | email

BLYTHEWOOD, SC (WIS) - The future will be a lot more clear, if electric car makers have their way. A plan to set up electric fueling stations launched on Wednesday, a place where cars would plug in to fill up. One Midlands town is leading the way.

With the cut of a ribbon, the future was revealed. "We are transforming our economy and the way we think about energy resources," said Ashlie Lancaster.

The kick off to a statewide tour promoting South Carolina's electric vehicle charging network kicked off on the State House steps. That network spans from the Upstate to the Lowcountry, with 30 electric fueling stations opening this week.

The town of Blythewood is first to unveil its station. "This is the next step in making our community a more sustainable community," said Henry Hunter.

There are no electric cars on the road, but experts believe "if we build it, they will come."
     
"The cars are slowly coming out," said Tim Old. "As we see more on the road, we think people will see that the technology is there."

The government is trying to take the lead. Richland School District Two already has an electric bus. The City of Columbia plans to add electric vehicles to its fleet.
     
Right now, it costs about $45,000 to buy certain types of electric cars. Others are more expensive. "But you have to weigh that against what you're going to save in gasoline," said Hunter.

It's estimated you can save 20 barrels of crude oil by using an electric vehicle for one year. Blythewood town leaders are encouraging it, and that's why it's free to charge up there. "We want to reduce the cost of entry," said Hunter. "That means we want to give everybody the opportunity to take advantage of this technology with as few obstacles as possible."

The future will be more clear next year, when the electric cars hit the market in the fall.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved.

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