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COLUMN

Happytown

Sen. Bill Nelson is lost in space, Florida is lost in translation, Winter Park dogs are lost in their owners' anger and Orlando tries to lose its gas issues.

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The great be-yawn: Sen. Bill Nelson flies a full-flop

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Butt-plug: Orlando gets ready to go electric


It’s time to put away your copy of Who Killed the Electric Car? as well as all of your righteous anger. The electric car is back from the dead, and though you probably won’t be buying one next year, somebody will.

That’s what the city’s hoping, at least. The Orlando area was recently selected as one of nine metropolitan regions in the U.S. to receive 300 car-charging stations for free. Cutting-edge consumers will be able to plug their electric cars into them – but not for free. The stations will be scattered across the city, gracing the parking lots of Millenia Mall, the Orlando International Airport and other public places, offering “opportunity charges” for those who wish their cars would be more productive while parked.

The machines will be provided by Campbell, Calif.-based Coulomb Technologies, but the gift ultimately comes from Uncle Sam, which gave Coulomb $15 million in stimulus money for the project. The Orlando Utilities Commission is putting up at least $300,000 on their end and has been tasked with installing the machines. According to spokesman Tim Trudell, the OUC is conducting an experiment more than making a commitment. “For us, it’s just research and development, to see how [the stations] are used and operated,” he says.

Supposedly the initiative is but another part of the city’s “kilowatt crackdown,” a bid to reduce Orlando’s energy use by 30 percent over the next two years. Well then, here’s to hoping for a Magic game in the dark.

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