New vehicle recharging stations will be introduced in Raleigh today, a futuristic bit of technology that will become increasingly common as electric cars begin breaking into the market over the next several years.
City officials plan to showcase two recharging stations in front of City Hall at 285 W. Hargett St. at 10:30 a.m. The pods were installed last week, and a third will follow in front of the convention center in the coming week.
The recharging stations, which have 9-foot long cords, will provide free electricity. The parking spaces are not reserved for drivers with electric cars, so anyone will be able to use them, but they will have to pay the parking meter.
In all, the city expects to have up to 30 electric recharging stations in the next year. The municipal projects are part of a bigger wave that will bring more than 350 recharging stations to the state, most of them financed by federal stimulus money.
Raleigh's first recharging stations are being donated by Eaton Corp., an Ohio-based company with operations in Raleigh, Morrisville and Youngsville.
The pods would have cost about $3,000 each if the city had paid for them, said Nelson Daniels, Raleigh's sustainability technician.
The first mass-production electric car to be commercially available in this area will be the Nissan Leaf -- in April.
Earlier this year, N.C. State University installed a recharging pod at its visitors center.