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      Charging stations for electric cars are coming to SC cities

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Governments in eight cities are preparing for the release of electric cars by installing charging stations.

      We have been hearing about electric cars for quite some time and I have even seen the prototypes for the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt, says City of Columbia Sustainability Facilitator Mary Pat Baldauf.

      Baldauf is a fan of the environmental-friendly vehicles.

      By using electricity versus gas, it reduces our dependence on foreign fuels, she adds.

      The arrival of electric cars to Midlands' dealerships is expected in 2011.

      By that time, Columbia will have 10 charging stations, two each in parking garages on Washington, Park, Taylor and Lincoln Streets.

      When a person has a electric or partial electric car, they have a standard plug, and they will be able to drive into a garage, pull the plug out of the holster of the charging station and connect it to their car, says Executive Director Jim Poch of Plug-In Carolina.

      Plug-in Carolina is coordinating sites for the public accessible stations and according to Poch, the primary charging station will be at home.

      The efforts of Plug-in Carolina are funded by various grants.

      As for the cost for electricity -- it TMs free for now -- since the cost of parking in city garages covers the cost of charging the car.

      The first 40 charging stations will go online December 8 and it TMs estimated that the remaining stations will be available in January.