No one will buy electric cars if there are no plug-in stations, but no one will build plug-in stations without EVs on the road. That's the conundrum for both car makers and plug-in infrastructure companies. Fortunately, the public sector is stepping in to help out. Last week we wrote about Duke Energy's and FPL's commitment to buy $600 million in EV fleets. Today the French government announced it will spend $2.2 billion on a battery-charging EV network.
The French are taking no prisoners in their battle to make EVs mainstream--the country plans to make charging sockets mandatory in new apartment blocks by 2012 and in all office parking lots by 2015. France will also soon be home to a Renault SA facility with a production capacity of 100,000 batteries each year.
The United States hasn't invested quite so much cash or energy into a country-wide charging network, but Obama has announced plans to put one million PHEVs on the road by 2015. Of course, that's a goal that will only be possible if a charging and battery switching network is available to support the cars. Such a charging infrastructure may exist soon enough, albeit without a direct cash infusion from the government--Better Place is already in talks with officials in Oregon and California about installing a network of battery-switching stations.
[Via Wall Street Journal]