Electric cars to put neighborhood power grids to the test

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on January 19, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 19 at 9:46 PM

RENTON, Wash. -- Two of the first local owners of a new generation of vehicles are pumped up about giving up their gasoline dependence.

Patrick and Debbie Van Der Hyde of North Seattle signed the papers for their new, all-electric Leaf at Younkers Nissan in Renton Wednesday.

The Van Der Hydes already installed a charger in their home and look forward to being able to drive 100 miles on just a few dollars worth of electricity.

Seattle City Light officials are also excited about the electric car revolution, but also know it will test their system.

They have identified several areas in the Seattle area, such as the Fremont, Phinney Ridge and other North Seattle neighborhoods as hot spots for electric car ownership. 

Suzanne Hartman of Seattle City Light said the utility doesn't expect even widespread purchases to tax the electricity supply or transmission system, but they are preparing for the inevitable increase in power consumption from a new wave of vehicles combined with expected population growth.

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