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Bloomington Installs Charging Stations For Electric Vehicles

The City of Bloomington has installed several charging stations for electric cars around town. Some Monroe County car dealers say Bloomington is a promising market for electric vehicles.

General Sales Manager Chris Peratoni, who sells the Nissan Leaf at Royal on Eastside, says the cars save drivers money at the gas pump and at the mechanic.

“When you’re comparing a full fill-up of gasoline at $4 a gallon this will cost you roughly $2 for a complete charge, it’s worth the investment,” Peratoni says.

Sales Manager of University Motor Cars Scott McFarland says the Bloomington market will do well with electric vehicles because of the distance people travel.

“A lot of people don’t need to go the 60 plus miles that the car is capable of for in town driving,” McFarland says.

Electric cars have been a tough sell nationally in part because of their limited driving range. But there are now 10 locations to charge electric vehicles in Bloomington, including locations installed by the city at two parking garages downtown.

Bloomington Sustainability Coordinator Jacqui Bauer says city officials are working with the utility company to think long term about the environmental impacts of electric cars.

“This is a partnership with Duke Energy,” sBauer says. “We’re trying to figure out the impact on the infrastructure and the demand for electric cars.”

Most electric cars in Bloomington retail for more than $30,000. Indiana University SPEA Dean John Graham says the initial cost is still a burden to many potential buyers.

“What has to happen to make plug-in vehicles useful for the average consumer is they need to get less expensive,” he says. “They need to have a longer driving range and we need to be able to recharge them in a shorter amount of time.”

The Nissan dealership has sold three Leafs since it began offering the vehicles about two months ago. No Mitsubishi I’s have been sold.

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