There's no doubt Californians love their cars. The Golden State accounts for almost 10 percent of all car sales in the country, The Wall Street Journal reported recently.
If you're in the market for an electric vehicle, you'll certainly have your pick. With its laws incentivizing car manufacturers to go green, California has driven the push for eco-friendly transportation.
Electric vehicles can provide up to three times the power conversion compared to their gas-powered counterparts and boast an engine that operates more quietly and requires less maintenance, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. To top it off, buying an eco-friendly car can net you a federal tax credit of up to $7,500.
Though electric cars are more energy-efficient, you can still travel up to three times as far in some internal-combustion vehicles. Another thing to consider is electric car batteries are expensive to replace and can take up to eight hours to charge.
Several car manufacturers offer eco-friendly vehicles, including Chrysler, General Motors, Honda, Ford, Nissan, Tesla and Toyota.
Some manufacturers are establishing their own charging stations hoping to lure potential customers. Tesla has built a network of six solar-powered charging stations from L.A. to San Francisco, according to Car and Driver.
Whether you're looking to buy an electric car or you already own one, Santa Clara County is full of service stations—including one at Cupertino City Hall—that will keep you charged for your emissions-free commute. The cost is fifteen cents per kilowatt hour which translates into $3.50 to $4 for a full charge for most electric vehicles, according to city spokesman Rick Kitson.
Here is a list of local charging stations, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy. Stations offer Level 1 (120 volts) and Level 2 (240 volts) charging.
Cupertino City Hall
10300 Torre Ave., Cupertino
680 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
Sunnyvale Ford Lincoln
650 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
13650 Saratoga Ave, Saratoga
City of Saratoga
14421 and 14493 Big Basin Way, Sarartoga
13777 Fruitvale Ave., Saratoga
Stevens Creek Nissan
4855 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara
Sunnyvale CalTrain Station
W. Evelyn Ave. and S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale