SPOKANE, Wash. -- In 2010, Avista launched an effort to encourage more electric cars in the city of Spokane by installing charging stations.
Those that have made the switch to electric cars have said they loved it.
"I used to drive an SUV and I've been driving my Ford Focus for a little under a year and it's fabulous," said Brandi Smith, an electric car driver.
But electric car drivers said it is a challenge to keep their cars charged around the city and country. They are not sure of all of the possible places to plug in and according to plugshare.com, there are more than a dozen charging stations in the area.
"I think it's tough, especially if you're working, and you want to plug in during the day and it takes a couple of hours to charge," said Smith.
The City of Spokane has an electric charging station that anyone can use, but staff told KREM 2 News that someone comes to charge their car about once a month. Another charging station is located on the south side of the Steam Plant. Staff said there are often people charging their car there.
The stations at City Hall, the Steam Plant, and the Avista Head Quarters are all managed by the utility company. Avista said that while the majority of the 12,000 electric cars in Washington state are likely on the west side.
There are 300 electric cars in Spokane County. Local drivers think that number could increase.
"If gas prices go up, I'm sure the sales of electric vehicles will go up," said Smith.
Even if there are not as many stations as drivers may want, data showed that 80% of all electric car charging is done at home. 5-10% is done at public spots.
Drivers said if nothing else, there are some simple perks to their electric car that are worth the inconvenience.
"It's just quiet and peaceful driving an electric vehicle," said Smith.
So while the electric car community may be small and growing, experts said the services they need are there and can meet the demand of drivers.