While sales of all-electric vehicles remain slim, more places to charge are popping up in the Madison area.
Last month, Madison Gas and Electric finished installing 26 charging stations in Madison, Middleton, Fitchburg, and Monona. There are a few other stations in the area provided by local businesses.
Cars like the Chevy Volt run exclusively on electric battery power. With a limited range around 40 miles, some users need to recharge at work or during errands.
"I have a lot of people that are actually in the Belleveille area, Blue Mounds, Black Earth, kind of farther out, but live in Madison," said Chevy Volt Trainer Kiley Davidson. "The charging stations in the Madison area work a lot because those other areas don't have that."
MG&E has charging stations at parking structures, libraries, and even the zoo. They are providing the charges for free until sometime next year, when they plan to charge for a monthly subscription or by hour. So far, participation has been light, with less than 100 drivers registered and even fewer who use the service regularly.
Meanwhile, sales of electric vehicles are picking up locally. At Toyota Smart Motors in Madison, staff are requesting the new plug-in Prius from dealers on the east coast to meet local demand. The car can get about 15 miles from exclusively electricity. All Prius models are about 40% of their sales. Ballweg Chevrolet in Madison has sold about 60 2012 Chevy Volt vehicles this year. The 2013 model came out earlier this summer.
For a map of the MG&E stations and more information, click here.