Five new electric-car charging stations in one community may not sound like a big deal, but when it's Grass Valley, California, with a population of less than 15,000*, it IS pretty significant.

The charging stations will offer free standard 110-volt battery charge-ups at participating businesses across Grass Valley (Xtremely Green, Summer Thyme’s Bakery and Deli, Hills Flat Lumber Co., Magickal Florist, and Siteline Architecture) as part of the Miner's Foundry and the Electric Vehicle Alliance of Nevada County. The goal is to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles by making them seem more convenient - if people notice charging stations everywhere they go around town, even in their small northern California mountain community, then they are likely to be more willing to consider an electric vehicle. Brilliant, when you consider it: imagine thinking about buying a gas-guzzler, and never seeing any gas stations in your neighborhood.

* 2006 U.S. Census

Source: EV Alliance Nevada County