25 Most Electric Car-Ready Cities, Ranked by Ford. Is Yours on the List?

25 most electric W_Alaska

I know I want my next car to be electric, and while I’m waiting, I’ve noticed that the EV infrastructure is slowly-but-surely popping up all over. My favorite grocery store, the Whole Foods in Darien, CT already has a plethora of spaces up front ready to charge EV’s (they aren’t hooked up yet, as the store is pretty new), and in newer parking lots around the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut), I’ve spotted charging locations or signs designating that they’re coming soon. If you want to find out more, you can visit sites like xpertelectricllc.com/electrical/ev-charger-installation/ and other similar services that does electrical installation and repairs.

Which is great, as it doesn’t matter how much I WANT an electric car – if the only place I can charge up is my garage, it’s not going to be very practical. But as I’ve noticed in my drives around town in my (gas-only) vehicle, there is some serious behind-the-scenes infrastructure happening, and today, Ford Motor Company sent out a press release detailing the cities that are most EV-ready.

How did Ford put the list together? “The cities on our list are working with multiple partners including local utilities, auto manufacturers, technology companies and others to support a successful integration of electric vehicles.”

Specifically, they looked at:

– advisory committee and utility partnerships
-complementing state and regional activities
-streamlined permitting processes
-utility rate structures that support nighttime charging
-regional/local incentives such as high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes
-preferred parking and tax incentives

Ford’s 25 most EV-ready cities alphabetically are:

o Atlanta
o Austin, Texas
o Baltimore
o Boston
o Charlotte, N.C.
o Chicago
o Dallas
o Denver
o Detroit
o Hartford, Conn.
o Honolulu
o Houston
o Indianapolis
o Los Angeles
o New York
o Orlando, Fla.
o Phoenix
o Portland, Ore.
o Raleigh, N.C.
o Richmond, Va.
o Sacramento, Calif.
o San Diego
o San Francisco Bay Area
o Seattle
o Washington, D.C.

Other programs being developed to support electric vehicles include:

· Austin: Alternative-fuel vehicles displaying the proper alternative-fuel license plate are allowed to use the HOV lanes, regardless of the number of passengers

· Honolulu: All public, private and government parking facilities with at least 100 parking spaces must designate at least 1 percent for electric vehicles by Dec. 31, 2011

· Los Angeles: A preferred parking program allows owners of battery electric vehicles to park in designated charging spots throughout California for a $17 application fee

· Orlando: Plan to create unified signage to identify electric vehicle charging stations, which can vary from state to state. Get Ready Central Florida would like to work with the Department of Transportation to develop a national sign to help drivers identify public charging stations

· Houston: A streamlined permit process is already in place, with the local permitting office giving electricians like the ones you can find in asburyelectric.com immediate online approval to install chargers as-is or perform necessary upgrades

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.