The first wave of electric cars is expected to hit the markets at the end of 2010, with the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, which will travel up to 100 and 40 miles, respectively, on fully charged batteries. Urban areas in the west are starting to plan now for their arrival, encouraged by excited consumers.
"In cities like San Francisco, Portland, Ore., and San Diego, a combination of green consciousness and enthusiasm for new technology seems to be stirring public interest in the cars."
Preparations include everything from creating infrastructure to revising codes. San Francisco is revising its building code to ensure that new buildings have chargers, some nearby high-tech companies are ordering charging stations to be installed immediately, and Pacific Gas and Electric is hard at work ensuring that the power grid will be ready to support neighborhoods with heavy electric car use.