Bulgaria gets rolling on electric vehicles

Feb. 14, 2011 at 10:06 AM
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SOFIA, Bulgaria, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Transportation costs for commuters in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, will be cheaper as vehicles transition to alternative fuel sources, a company announced.

Bulgaria's REnergY announced during a two-day conference on electric vehicles that it planned to soon start construction on at least 15 charging stations in the country, the Sofia News Agency reports.

The company said it was working on prototype models, adding drivers of "traditional" vehicles will be at an economic disadvantage once electrical vehicles become a reality in Sofia.

The company said the first few charging stations would be free for the first year to promote the use of electric vehicles. German engineering company Siemens, a partner in the project, won financing for EV stations through a grant from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The aim of the pilot project is to examine the best ways to develop a functional network of EV charging stations across the country.

U.S. President Barack Obama said he wanted his country to become the first in the world to put 1 million electrical vehicles on the road by 2015.

U.S. battery manufacturer Ener1, Inc. secured a $118.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to build advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.

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