Electric vehicle charging stations spreading throughout D.C. area

More electric car charging stations are coming to the D.C.metro area. (Photo: NewsChannel 8)

We're all starting to see more electric cars on roads and freeways around the Washington area, but one dilemma remains - where can drivers "refuel" their new rides?

Public charging stations are few and far between; in fact, Arlington only has three. However, more are coming in 2012.

One of the first new places to charge your electric car will be Bethesda Row, whose owners, Federal Realty, announced earlier this week that they will install electric vehicle stations at five shopping ceners.

By the new year, retailers around the District will have unveiled nearly 50 new charging stations.

That has electric car advocates like Dave Goldstein, who says he's getting used to showing off his new Chevy Volt, excited.

"I think the more people see electric cars, the more interest rises," Goldstein, of the Electric Vehicle Association of Greater Washington D.C., says. "They start asking you all the 'what if' questions - what if I had one? How much are they? How far do they go?"

Goldstein says that forward-thinking developers should consider installing car chargers to attract the growing number of electric car owners.

"If you want the new generation drivers to come to your facility, you're going to have to put in a charging station," Goldstein says.

Bethesda resident Jody Axinn, who has looked into buying an electric car, says that she would have no problem seeking out shopping centers that have charging stations.

"Even if I've never been there before, I'm going to find out where it is because there aren't a lot of places to plug in," Axinn says.

Goldstein admits that electric vehicles may not be for everyone just yet; that they're for people willing to "go out here in the desert."

"You have to feel you're a pioneer...hoping somewhere out there, there's a watering hole where you're going to be able to recharge," he says.