As more people look to save money on gas while helping out the environment, the electric car is becoming an increasingly popular choice for Americans looking for their next vehicle.
However, many who buy an electric car have trouble figuring out where the nearest car changing station is located — which is why the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is now working to put up highway signs marking the locations of its more than 120 electric vehicle charging stations.
According to the Triangle Business Journal, the NCDOT was initially hesitant to agree to the plan, feeling that there weren’t enough electric vehicle drivers in the state, but eventually approved of including signage at each charging station once hearing of the statewide demand for these signs.
“We helped them understand that it was a trend that was here to stay, and that the changes we were proposing were changes that they already had the authority to make,” Marcy Bauer, the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center’s Clean Transportation Project Coordinator, told the Triangle Business Journal.
Already, NCDOT has made edits to its Highway 1 sign for the “green” McDonald’s in Cary, to notify drivers that the restaurant has a charging station for their electric cars. According to Bauer, more signs indicating the locations of nearby charging stations at shopping centers and restaurants should follow throughout the state.
According to the Triangle Business Journal, it takes about eight hours to charge a Nissan Leaf, and about four hours to charge a Chevrolet Volt. As a result, these charging stations aren’t intended for full charges, but rather for topping off electric vehicles’ batteries to get a little further down the road.
With electric vehicles’ popularity among the eco-friendly crowd not slowing anytime soon, it’s probable that other states will soon follow North Carolina’s lead with highway signs to mark the nearest spots where people can top up the charge on their cars, at the same time they that refuel with a meal or cup of coffee.