apartment building chicago hyde park

Nowhere in the picture above do we see an easy place to charge an electric car, do we? The challenge of powering up plug-in vehicle in a densely populated urban environment is something that has been an issue in the EV scene for a while (and something we've covered a lot in the past), and it is most certainly a worthwhile topic for our Countdown to Earth Day series for new readers.

See, the big benefit of pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars is that you charge them up overnight and then never (or rarely) visit a gas station. Of course, this is only possible if you actually have a place to park each evening with a plug. If you're always battling for some random parking spot on a street anywhere within a 10-minute walk of your apartment, then an electric car might not make a lot of sense. But EVs are also great city cars, where their 100-mile (average) range isn't usually a big deal because you're probably not going that far on any given day. So, what can you do?

Well, the best solution is probably to talk to your landlord of the city about possibly getting a plug installed either at your apartment's parking lot or on a nearby street. You may suffer from someone stealing your spot sometimes, but at least this way you can get your electrons while you sleep. Other options include: seeing if it's possible to recharge at work, opt for a plug-in hybrid like the Chevy Volt (which can run on gas when the battery is depleted) or, maybe, to move. We've got more details in this Greenlings post.

[Image: Ray_from_LA – C.C. License 2.0]

Note: To mark the 41st anniversary of Earth Day* this year on April 22nd, we're running a series called Countdown to Earth Day that we want to be very welcoming to new readers, both in topic and tone. We'll be returning to our Greenlings series for inspiration here, and if you have friends who you'd like to introduce to AutoblogGreen, perhaps these posts and the coming "holiday" will provide the final push to get their green car interest up.

*Ironically, the apparent traditional gift for a 41st anniversary is land. Since land - earth - is something we can't easily create, perhaps this Earth Day we can give ourselves the gift of stewardship of the land.