For electric cars to bloom, there needs to be a place to plug them in. So if you're looking to predict where electric cars are going to catch on, looking at charging stations isn't a bad place to start. Car Stations is a simple Google maps mashup that shows all the electric car charging stations in America. It lets users add them as they find them, and offers you directions to the nearest one. But perhaps most interestingly, it paints a fascinating picture of the investment in electric car infrastructure around the country.
As you could have expected, San Francisco and Los Angeles lead the way, with vastly more available stations than anywhere else. It's interesting to see how many are in the Washington, D.C. area, but it makes quite a bit of sense. If you want lawmakers to get on board with funding for EVs and charging stations, you better show them it can work. The suburbs of D.C., in fact, are chock-full (relatively) of places to charge a car.
Also heartening is to see the number in Detroit. Sure, many of them are probably because if you're putting out an electric car, you better have a place to charge it. But given that the auto industry has a history of paying lip service to electric cars while trying to brush them under the rug, any sign that the city is turning a corner into full acceptance is welcome.
Mostly, though, the Car Stations map confirms what we've said before: Electric car investment mirrors political divisions. The redder your state (give or take), the less likely you are to have an electric car charging station near you. Sure, many of those states are more spread out than the urbanized blue states, but some people there live and work in cities. They shouldn't be left out.
[Hat tip: Chart Porn]