Sonoma County's Ambitious 1000-Electric Car Plan

Sonoma hopes to win up to $3 million in state and U.S. Energy Department grants to install charging stations and convert existing fuel-electric hybrid vehicles to plug-in hybrids.

Published: 04-Feb-2009

SONOMA COUNTY – An ambitious plan to bring 1,000 electric-powered vehicles to the county starting next year could get rolling as early as this summer if the many moving components mesh.

Local governments in Sonoma County are still in talks with Nissan Motor Co. about receiving all-electric cars as early as 2010 as part of a two-year Bay Area market test of a longer-range vehicle. However, infrastructure needed to electrify businesses and the public into greater use of electric vehicles could start showing up around the county this year.

The county of Sonoma is expecting to know by May whether it has won up to $3 million in state and U.S. Energy Department grants to install charging stations and convert existing fuel-electric hybrid vehicles to plug-in hybrids, or PHEVs, to allow longer driving on all-electric power, according to a spokeswoman for the Sonoma County Water Agency, one of the key players in the electric-car effort.

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