SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Environmentally sensitive California is likely to be the national testing ground for electric cars, industry observers said.
At Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., the company parking lot already has 100 recharging stations for electric cars, The New York Times reported Monday. In San Francisco, the local building code is being revised to make sure home wiring can accommodate recharging the family car.
"There is huge momentum here," said Andrew Tang, a Pacific Gas & Electric executive.
Utility and car companies are attempting to work out issues such as how and where to provide enough recharging stations and when to encourage car owners to plug in to the grid, which may need upgrades to prevent power outages.
One plugged in car draws the same power as three homes, Tang said. On the other hand, it is still expected to cost a third as much as a gas-powered car in fuel costs.
But many expect a slow transition.
"The reality is, these electric vehicles are not going to sweep the industry and become a major share of the market for a very long time," said Dan Sperling, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis.