Pulling The Plug On Electric Car Chargers?

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National Grid wants to build a network of electric car charging stations. 

It has a $1 million state grant to install 67 of them across upstate, including Watertown. 

Electric or hybrid car owners could pull up, and charge up for free, on the city's tab. 

But Mayor Jeff Graham isn't impressed.

"Just at first blush it looks like another sop to the green energy crowd, the tofu eaters, the Birkenstock wearers, the Volvo drivers, the New York Times readers, the people who wish they'd gone to Berkeley instead of JCC," said Graham.

Graham asks - why does green energy always have to be subsidized?

Others might not put it as colorfully as the mayor does, but even the most pro-green energy member of the city council has reservations.

Councilman Jeff Smith has solar energy panels on his home and wind turbines on his business.

But, but in this case, he's concerned.

"It's really more to the point that it isn't the city of Watertown or government's job, in this case, to pay for someone's fueling charge," said Smith.

Watertown already has electric car fueling stations.

The Davidson Auto Group has two of them.

"iI's available to the public. Anyone with an electric car that wants to pull in and get a 220 (volt) charge on their car, they can," said Rich Weigand, vice president of operations at Davidson Automotive Group.

There's at least one other council member who seems in the mood to kill-a-watt. 

Roxanne Burns says she would most likely vote against the National Grid proposal. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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