Electric Car Charging Station Opens at Atlantic Station
Atlanta's first solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations will open to the public Thursday.
Forward-thinking drivers soon will have more fueling options in Midtown.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed unveiled three electric vehicle charging stations during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Atlantic Station Wednesday.
"The city is pushing for the wide adoption of these charging stations," Reed said. "I know we can be a top ten city of sustainability. This is a vital part of that."
The electric charging stations are located at the Millennium Gate in Atlantic Station, a mixed-use development on 17th Street in Midtown Atlanta.
Reed and other government officials arrived to Atlantic Station Wednesday in a Chevrolet Volt -- a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle manufactured by General Motors in 2010 -- to unveil the new electric vehicle charging stations.
Reed told Midtown Patch he isn't too concerned about Atlanta businesses that sell gasoline. Oil companies are not "hurting," he said.
"This is another alternative," Reed said. "We're reducing our dependency on foreign oil and expanding the menu."
The charging station will be powered by overhead solar panels. The 24-hour station will be open to motorists with electric-powered, zero-emissions vehicles. People can use the stations free of charge until January 2012.
After January, the electric charging stations will operate similar to a parking meter, according to Allison Ventura, pricing analyst for Georgia Power.
The fee for using the stations will be $3.00 per hour, she said.
Typically, people who charge their electric vehicles overnight will spend about what a person would pay if he filled up with gas priced at 71 cents per gallon, according to Georgia Power.
Mark Frost, vice president for Jim Ellis GM Brands, was also at the ceremony Wednesday.
Frost said 32 orders for the Chevrolet Volt have been placed since the electric car debuted in 2010. About 80 people remain on a waiting list.
Electric vehicles are not more or less profitable for car dealers, Frost said. The electric vehicles require the same maintenance as gasoline-powered vehicles, he said.
"A car is a car," Frost said. "We buy it for a certain amount and sell it for a certain amount."
American-made electric vehicles including the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf can charge at the new stations. It will take three to seven hours to fully charge a car at Atlantic Station. Other stations can take 11 to 25 hours to fully charge.