Electric Cars Get Faster Charging Stations

Irving has multiple charging stations thanks to partnership with California company

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Texans drive nearly 1,400 electric vehicles with 600 of those cars in North Texas. Irving is working to provide more places for drivers to plug in. (Published Tuesday, Sep 4, 2012)

    An Irving library with parking spaces designated for electric and hybrid vehicles recently was upgraded a couple of the spaces with Level 2 charging stations.

    The city of Irving has been providing places for electric vehicles to plug in when visiting City Hall, the convention center and the West Irving Library.

    The library, a net-zero LEED building, has 40 parking spaces with 110-volt outlets for electric and hybrid vehicles. All of the outlets are solar-powered during the day.

    ECOtality North America replaced two outlets with faster Level 2 charging stations in May. The San Franciso-based company received a $230 million grant from the Department of Energy and installed 10 Level 2 stations throughout Irving.

    ECOtality spokesman Dave Aasheim said the company is also installing hundreds more throughout Dallas-Fort Worth.

    "We're in our final phase of installing," he said. "We've got about 250 of these chargers installed throughout the Metroplex -- libraries, grocery stores, department stores."

    The two new charging stations at the West Irving Library were used 18 times in the past four months.

    Fran Witte, city community outreach coordinator, said she hoped more drivers would take advantage of the stations in the future.

    "As the oil prices continue to go up, I think it's going to encourage people to look at an alternative to fueling their car," she said.

    According to the North Central Texas Council of Governments, there are 1,359 electric vehicles in Texas, with 562 in the North Texas region.