America's Best Cities for Plug-in Cars

By Richard Florida

As gas prices continue to spike, car manufacturers are finally offering alternatives in the form of viable electric vehicles

The map above, from Ford via greenautoblog.com, shows the 25 American cities that are the most ready for electric vehicles (EVs).

Cities were evaluated across the following criteria:

  • Utility rates that encourage "off-peak" charging;
  • Streamlined permitting and inspection processes, to speed up the development of necessary infrastructure;
  • Advisory committees that help communities deal with electric vehicle issues;
  • Urban planning to optimize locations for chargers;
  • Incentives to offset customers' costs for installing required hardware;
  • Other city- or region-wide programs that encourage EV use.

As gas prices continue to spike, car manufacturers are finally offering alternatives. The Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf have been winning Car of the Year awards at all of the major auto shows this year, and more electric cars are coming, like the more moderately priced S Sedan from Tesla. It will be interesting to see how many car buyers -- and in what cities -- choose to drive them.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/04/americas-best-cities-for-plug-in-cars/237715/