LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

(UNDATED) KTHV - If you do a quick Google search, you'll see an increase in the number of electric car drivers across the country. However,this isa trend that is not taking off in Arkansas.

Gary McAllister has ownedhis Chevy Volt for almost a year. He gets 47 milesfrom a 10-hour charge.

"I make a lot of new friends everywhere I go," he laughs."They want to know how I charge it up."

The car cost him $42,000, but it's opened up new possibilities for a more efficient, economical life. He's gone from an $80 a week gas billdown to just a couple bucks for electricity.

"On that 60 cents, I can drive 47 miles on total electricity. I think I am the only one in Conway that has one."

THV11 found out that of the more than 2.6million registered vehicles in Arkansas, only 165 of those are electric.

It's not surprising to General Sales Manager Brandon Jones at Landers Toyota in Little Rock. He said customers rarely show an interest.

"We don't hear a whole lot about it. You go to New York or California and you see them on every corner."

If a customer does want one, Jones says it would have to be ordered from a "greener" state where they are more popular.

"They are requiring people that travel 'X' amount of miles to switch over to that type of vehicle," Jones explained.

THV11 found out there are19 free charging stations in Arkansas, with the majorityof them being owned by car dealerships.

Four others belong to Entergy Arkansas. Spokesperson Sally Graham said they were purchased in 2011 with a $40,000 share holders grantin partnership with Coulomb Technologies.

They stations arelocated at the Clinton School, UALR, UAMS, and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. While THV11 did catch drivers charging up, all four campuses said their stations rarely get used.

As for Entergy more adding more, Graham said, "Right now we don't have any plans to do that right now, but it's a possibility because we are always looking at and assessing the interest."

There is also an electric charging stationin North Little Rock. It was installed two years ago but itdoesn't see much attention.

"You don't know until you do it,"explained City Communications Director Nathan Hamilton.

Hamilton said it cost about $3,000 to purchase and install and waspaid for with tax payer money.

"It was a way to gain data, to gain knowledge," explained Hamilton."We do consider it a wise investment even though it's not being used."

Back with McAllister, "I think they just need to have better awareness."He says the cost of the vehicles, how far you can drive on a charge, and where the charging stations are located are to blame for the lack of sales.

"If your place of employment were to put a charging station up where you drive into work, you commute in, and you are able to plug in and then drive back home on electricity. That would be awesome," he said.

The two wins for him are saving money and cutting down on emissions. He hopesother Arkansas drivers will consider the benefits of purchasing an electric vehicle.

"This by far is the best car I have ever owned," says McAllister.

Extra Resources:

The U.S. Department of Entergycompiled the benefits and considerations drivers should consider before purchasing an electric car.

ChargePoint Networkhas a free mobile phone app that allows drivers to search and filter for charging stations across the country by status: available, in use, voltage level, and paid or free stations.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://on.kthv.com/MFtSzw