Electric car-charging stations coming to Delray Walgreens

286

 Electric-vehicle owners in South Florida will soon have more public car-charging stations available — at Walgreens drugstores. Five charging stations are set to open by summer at Walgreens pharmacies in Fort Lauderdale, Delray Beach, Coconut Creek, Weston and Sunny Isles, pending permits, according to Miami Beach-based Car Charging Group, which is installing the machines. Walgreens plans to install charging stations at about 800 locations nationwide this year, aiming to become the largest retail host of the chargers nationwide. It wants to offer convenient sites for customers, especially in urban areas where residents may lack a home garage for a plug-in. The pharmacy chain already has installations under way at more than 60 stores in Houston, Dallas, Chicago and Orlando from three different car-charger installers. In Florida, the Walgreens stations will cost about $2.49 an hour. That’s more than what drivers pay if they charge up at home but still less than half the cost of gas for comparable mileage, Kinard said. Sales of plug-in cars have been slow for two main reasons, analysts say: prices are sometimes $5,000 higher than conventional gas-powered vehicles, even after a $7,500 federal subsidy, plus an insufficient network of electric car-charging stations. South Florida has the state’s only dealership for the plug-in Tesla sports car — in Dania Beach. It hosts a chapter of the Electric Auto Association in Boca Raton. And the Car Charging Group already has charging stations in many cities, including Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach.