Small Iowa Town Makes Itself A Hub for Electric Cars

November 20, 2009 - 6:37 AM
The tiny Iowa town of Elk Horn will have plenty of charging stations -- if an electric car can make it there.
electric car

Shown is an electric-car charger before at a service station in Elk Horn, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Elk Horn, Iowa (AP) - The tiny Iowa town of Elk Horn will have plenty of charging stations -- if an electric car can make it there.
 
The town is hundreds of miles from the nearest charging station, but it has four devices and four more planned.
 
Plug-in hybrids and electric cars make up less than 1 percent of vehicles on U.S. roads. But concerns about global warming and dependence on foreign oil are expected to increase that figure.
 
Mike Howard, who is financing Elk Horn's project, wants to install charging stations along an Iowa corridor and eventually from Denver to Chicago. He says it's a modern-day Pony Express.
 
Pat Davis of the U.S. Energy Department acknowledges Elk Horn is far from the nation's electric car epicenter along the West Coast. But he says somebody's got to be first.