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Electric vehicle charging station installed at Capitol parking garage

The state showed off an electric vehicle charging station at the state Capitol today, the first – and most symbolic – of five planned for state-owned buildings downtown.

People with electric vehicles can use the charger in the underground parking garage at the state Capitol for $2 an hour for a maximum of four hours. According to industry experts, one hour of charging sustains about 15 to 20 miles of driving.

The state is using federal stimulus money to finance the electric vehicle program. The state has ordered eight Nissan Leaf vehicles. Two have been delivered and have been assigned to the state energy office and motor pool.

The state is also offering consumers rebates of $4,500 for electric vehicles and $500 toward the purchase and installation of charging stations. Federal tax incentives are also available.

“In some respects, I suppose you could say this is just a symbolic gesture at this point. But that’s what gestures are all about, and that’s what symbols are all about. What does it represent?” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said at a news conference.

“And what it represents is a commitment. And I think that everybody understands in order to have a commitment become a basic reality in everyday life – and the desire to have that happen – I think is shown by the interest that’s here today.”

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