Here Come Electric Cars— But Cities Aren't Ready
People without driveways or garages have nowhere to charge
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2010 6:44 AM CST
In this Dec. 14, 2009, file photo, a man demonstrates how to recharge a plug-in Prius.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, file)

(Newser) – If electric cars are ever going to put a meaningful dent in America's fuel habits, cities must start getting proactive now, writes Robert Gammon. Automakers are busy preparing plug-ins for the road, but the logistics of keeping them charged will leave many buyers out of the loop. Specifically, apartment and condo dwellers and urban homeowners without driveways or garages are largely out of luck—they have no place to park the car overnight and let it charge.

For all these people, "it makes no sense for them to buy plug-in cars until they can juice up at large charging stations, or until cities find a way to let them do it on the street in front of their homes," writes Gammon in the East Bay Express. The problems can eventually be ironed out—including the liability issue of who's responsible when a kid sticks his finger in a curbside outlet box—but a bottleneck looms unless city officials everywhere start moving.