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Drive An Electric? Fill 'Er Up At Davidson's South Main Square

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Electric vehicles could become a viable option for motorists in the coming years, but not without a place to charge up. Add South Main Square to the list of places to plug in. Thanks to a federal stimulus grant awarded through the state of North Carolina, the South Main Street shopping center is getting one of the region's first electric vehicle charging stations. "It's Davidson's first electric vehicle charging station that will be available for public use," said The charger at South Main Square will be free at first, then for a fee once prices are worked out. (David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net) Kathleen Rose, who owns South Main Square and also runs the Project for Innovation, Energy & Sustainability (PiES), a "green" business incubator based there. Ms. Rose worked with Raleigh-based Praxis Technologies to bring the charging station to Davidson. Praxis was among 16 N.C. companies awarded a total of $4.6 million in grants this spring for energy-related projects through the N.C. Green Business Fund of the state Department of Commerce. Praxis got $247,304 to install 19 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations around the state to help promote awareness of electric vehicles and expand the availability of charging stations. The number of electric vehicles on the road is still tiny, though as more manufacturers add electrics to their lineups, that is changing. And all will need to refuel. The new Chargepoint charging station sits in the parking lot of South Main Square, opposite Campania Cafe´. It was installed two weeks ago and should be available for use any day now. For now, it's free, Ms. Rose said, though eventually they'll charge for the service. "There will be a card reader on it, so you can buy points through ChargePoint and be able to use it, or use a credit card," Ms. Rose explained. The charging station is compatible with most plug-in electrical vehicles and provides 7.2 KW Level II charging. RELATED LINKS April 27, 2011, N.C. Green Business Fund press release announcing grants to Praxis and other companies for stimulus funded projects. (PDF) Praxis Technologies Inc. website, http://www.praxisearth.com/ Chargepoint website, http://www.mychargepoint.net/ PiES green business incubator, http://www.pies-northcarolina.org/ See previous coverage of PiES on DavidsonNews.net under the PiES tag. The area's first EV charging station is at South Main Square, across from Campania Cafe. (David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net)