Electric Cars Charging Their Way Into The Tri-Cities - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Electric Cars Charging Their Way Into The Tri-Cities

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RICHLAND, Wash.- Summertime gas prices can drive you to insanity, but a new group in the Tri-Cities is avoiding the hassle at the pump.

Innovations here in the Tri-Cities at PNNL are making driving green a whole lot easier. The new Mid-Columbia Electric Vehicle Association wants you to stop paying at the pump and start charging up you car. Thanks to some new technology designed at PNNL, electric cars will be easier and automated to charge and even more commercially appealing. It'll be like charging your cell phone overnight.

"It's great to see that the market has responded to some need, and we're seeing some very robust growth," said Michael Kitner-Meyer, a Staff Scientist at PNNL.

Kitner-Meyer is part of a group of scientists who have lead substantial research into making electric vehicles more efficient. While he encourages consumers to consider the electric option, he can see why many have yet to jump on the bandwagon.

"The prices of the vehicles need to come down," he explained. 

Enthusiasts like Garrett Brown think the pros outweigh the cons. Brown is the president of the newly formed Mid-Columbia Electric Vehicle Association.

"I pay about $5 a month in electricity," said "Sometimes, well I can't even tell. It's so smooth, it's so quiet...you'll wonder why are you driving something else?"

With fast charging stations popping up around the region, traveling long distances could soon be less of a hassle. Both men agree that the Tri-Cities is an ideal place to drive electric cars. People who don't drive more than 50 miles a day only need to plug in while they're sleeping.

"It's a real car," explained Brown. "They're here today and it's not the future it's the now."

If electric cars spark your interest or you want to learn more, the Mid-Columbia Electric Vehicle Association will have it's first meeting tomorrow night at the Richland public library at 6:30. Michael Kitner-Meyer from PNNL will be their guest speaker.