If you drive an electric vehicle, you’ll soon be able to recharge it when you shop at Bethesda Row, at a couple of major shopping areas in Rockville and possibly even in Friendship Heights in the not-too-distant future.
Thanks to a new arrangement that Bethesda Row property owner Federal Realty signed with Car Charging Group, Inc. (of Miami), a recharging station for electric vehicles will be installed at Bethesda Row in 2012.
Under a new agreement, the first phase of Federal Realty's scheduled installations will bring electric vehicle recharging stations to Bethesda Row, Congressional Plaza, Rockville Town Square and a couple of locations in northern Virginia (Pentagon Row and Shirlington), as well as one in San Jose, CA, according to the companies involved.
Plans are also afoot to extend the program to Washington, DC, with Friendship Heights possibly on the list for future expansions, given the fact that Federal Realty also owns property in Friendship Heights (Friendship Center, at the northeast corner of Wisconsin Avenue NW and Jenifer Street NW).
Car Charging Group, Inc. will use what the company has described as “Level II, 240-volt electric vehicle charge stations," and users will have access to the Chargepoint Network, a global online network that links electric vehicle drivers to unoccupied charging stations.
“Federal Realty is committed to running our business in a socially responsible manner that balances out consideration for the environment with creating long-term value for our shareholders,” Mike Kelleher, director of asset management at Federal Realty, said in a statement.
“Besides the obvious environmental benefits, a big advantage for electric cars will be the ability to conveniently fuel your vehicle where you’ve already stopped somewhere on your daily routine,” Michael Farkas, chief executive of Car Charging Group, Inc., noted.
Many energy and automotive experts believe that these types of developments—charging stations in parking garages and other convenient locations—will be a crucial factor in determining how quickly electric vehicles take off in the U.S. market.