Moscow: Moscow could set up several hundreds of charging stations for electric cars within the next few years, an official said.
Andrei Konovalov, general director of the Moscow United Electric Grid Company, said this at the opening of the first station in the chain.
"There will be 28 company stations alone in 2012, and I think their number may be about a hundred taking into account charging stations of the Moscow city government and independent operators. There could be several hundred stations in the near term," Konovalov said.
The company hopes that increased use of electric cars will help improve environmental conditions in the capital.
"Car charging will be free till July 1. If there are from 50,000 to 60,000 electric cars in Moscow in the next five to seven years, it will be an acceptable and tangible load for us," he said.
The company plans to purchase several electric cars such as Mitsubishi i-MIEV and Chevrolet Volt, as well as trucks, that will use the stations.
Konovalov said the project was a pilot for the company, which does not expect a return on investment in the first three years.
"The project is not profitable for us. We are only demonstrating the prospects for electric transport use. There should be independent operators to develop these projects. The operators estimate investment at from 1.5 billion rubles (around $51 million) to two billion rubles ($69 million) in the next three to five years," he added.