Raleigh Plans for Electric Shift

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Meeker speaks to the press on “Project Get Ready.” Sorry for the low volume, please turn up your speakers.

Today Mayor Charles Meeker announced Raleigh’s plan to prepare the city for electric vehicles. In a  teleconference, Meeker spoke with representatives from other participating cities, GM and the Rocky Mountain Institute, which founded the project.

Project Get Ready” is being implemented in Raleigh, Portland and Indianapolis. Laura Schewel, the RMI project manager said  “the challenges facing plug-ins can best be overcome if we focus on city and community readiness.”

The plan includes adding plug-in hybrid vehicles to Raleigh’s motor fleet and creating 8 plug-in stations downtown. The stations will be funded by Progress Energy. Each site will cost between $1,000 and $4,000, and will be able to fully charge a vehicle in 15 to 20 minutes. Raleigh plans to build a total of 100 stations in the near future. “We need to facilitate this technology so it catches on,” Meeker said.

President Obama aims to add one million electric vehicles to America’s motor fleet by 2015, roughly half a percent of the total government fleet. Raleigh is seeking funding through Obama’s stimulus plan to buy 100 electric vehicles for the city.

Meeker said electric vehicles will be widely produced in 2010, and Raleigh hopes to have a suitable electric infrastructure by then.

“Project Get Ready is in harmony with the City of Raleigh’s Mission statement. It focuses on 21st-century environmental, cultural and economic sustainability,” Meeker said.

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