J.D. Power and Associates estimates that there are fewer than 1,000 public recharging stations across the U.S., with more than half of them in California.
That estimate matches up with the Department of Energy's Alternative Fueling Station locator (afdc.energy.gov/afdc/fuels/electricity_locations.html), which currently lists 722 active charging stations, as well as others that are planned or down for maintenance or repair.
So, no cross-country drives for you in the near future if your only vehicle is electric. Below are a few examples of infrastructure projects under way that aim to change that.
--Coulomb Technologies makes available free home and public EV charging stations to individuals and businesses through the ChargePoint America Program, funded by a $15 million Department of Energy grant. The program will provide 4,800 free charging stations in nine regions in the U.S.
Charging stations have been installed at Novus International headquarters, in St. Charles, Mo.; 3M's headquarters, in Maplewood, Minn.; City Hall in Bellevue, Wash.; curbside at the Franklin D. Reeves Center in Washington, D.C.; Harv's Car Wash in Sacramento, Calif.; McEnery Convention Center, in San Jose, Calif.; and the Aspira apartment tower in Seattle.
--350Green designs, builds and operates EV charging stations. The San Diego-based company announced it will do the following installations: 280 EV charging stations in Chicago and surrounding suburbs by the end of 2011; fast-charging station plazas in six cities in the San Francisco Bay Area by June 2012; and 66 charging stations in Pennsylvania (mostly in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) by mid-2012.
--The EV Project is dedicated to deploying charging infrastructure in 16 cities in six states and Washington, D.C., and is being supported by roughly $115 million from the Department of Energy (matched by private funds). According to the Department of Energy, the goal is to install 13,900 of the 220-volt chargers (8,300 residential and the rest commercial) and 310 fast chargers in public areas. The plan is to have all 220-volt chargers in place by early fall and fast chargers installed by the end of the year, according to ECOtality, the company managing the project. ECOtality says it has contracts to install chargers at Fred Meyer food stores, BP and Arco gas stations, Cracker Barrel restaurants and Best Buy electronics stores.