Laguna launches electric vehicles charging stations

With hybrids and electrics showing up more on Laguna Beach streets, the city showed support for green vehicles Tuesday by revealing two electric charging stations.

Located at the Forest Avenue and Broadway parking lot, the stations are free for the first four hours.

Electric car drivers from all over Southern California came to not only check out the stations and each other's vehicles, but to charge their rides as well because most electric vehicles can only travel 100 miles per charge.

Teslas, Nissan Leafs, an electric Mini Cooper and a Chevy Volt were just a few of the cars that made the drive to the electric-friendly city.

Mayor Toni Iseman, council members and other city officials were present, along with interested Lagunans. Ken Sapp, vice president of the Linc Group, was also on hand to chat about the development process. His company installed the two units and made charging possible by running electricity from neighboring buildings.

The city paid for installation, and the equipment was funded by a grant from the United States Department of Energy.

Matt Walton of Ventura, who drives an electric Mini Cooper, one of 500 BMW made, said he was excited to head down to Laguna for the day.

"Usually you get about 50 miles, and you have to go ahead and go back," he said. "The public infrastructure gives us the ability to extend the reach of the car."

Walton and Gary Giddings, a Nissan Leaf owner, heard about the event through online forums. Both said the "EV" community is close-knit.

Giddings started an interest group about 10 months ago. Members meet twice a month to talk about all things electric. He also contributes to discussions on

Many of the drivers at Laguna's event knew each other from the vibrant online community they've created.

About six months ago, Laguna citizens put together a plan and presented it to the city.

Iseman believes the charging stations are just another step in the city's efforts to be green.

"Laguna has a reputation of being an environmental community, and I think it was important to us to take a leadership role," she said. "We're thrilled to have it. It's not just good for the environment but it's good for the economy. I just had several people say they can come to Laguna now in their car."

Visit for more information about the stations.

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