The support network for electric vehicles is about to expand. Cleveland City Council this week approved spending $75,000 to install three charging stations in the city.
Cleveland Public Power is to install and maintain the stations for a three-year period.
Technically speaking, the support network for electric vehicles - the power grid - already exists. A next step is development of charging stations so drivers can refuel electric vehicles.
Some of the funding for the new stations to be installed in Cleveland is to come from grants. Last summer, AEP Ohio and Wal-Mart cooperated to open the first public electric-vehicle charging station in Ohio, at a Walmart Supercenter/Sam's Club in Columbus.
Sounds great, but funding for the station was provided by a federal grant.
According to CleanFuels Ohio, a nonprofit advocacy group, the state now has 54 stations for charging electric vehicles. The U.S. Department of Energy states those stations offer a combined 134 outlets.
The number of outlets may be a key. Some systems an take four to eight hours to fully charge an electric vehicle. But patience can pay off; even at prices charged by the stations, the cost of fully charging a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt is just a few dollars.
But we'd like to see more charging stations paid for either by electric utilities or by private funding. This "seed" money provided by tax breaks for electric vehicle purchases and federal grants for charging stations shouldn't go on indefinitely.
As support networks go, taxpayers already are overburdened.