Local surge for electric cars

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte is now one of the most expensive places to get gas in the Southeast.

And with all the unrest in the Middle East, experts think that gas could get to five dollars a gallon by 2012.

But what if you could ditch the pump? What if you could plug in to something better?

Electric cars are not exactly a new concept.

But there's been a road block...a reason people are more comfortable as spectators than owners.

If you can't recharge, you can't run, and no one wants to get caught out on the road with a dead battery.

It looks like society, however, is gearing up for a switch.

The Ritz Carleton in Charlotte unveiled its first electric car charging station today.

"This was just a logical step based upon guest feedback as well as the trend both as a city and a state to really embrace green energy and move forward in that direction," said the hotel's Heidi Nowak.

Brian Edens represents the company that installed the hotel's new station.

"What we are doing is providing stations at three places," Edens said. "Where people live, work and play."

And when that finally happens, the number three will take on a whole new meaning.

"That's not three dollars a gallon, that's three dollars a day," said Steve Goldberg, director of media relations for a Mooresville based company that can convert any kind of new car into an electric one.

Li-ion Motors makes the world's fastest, called the Inizio, but it has plenty of affordable options too...the prices, the savings, the possibilities... It all leaves people with one question.

"Can you drive this vehicle from Charlotte to Atlanta at this point?" Goldberg poses. "No, not without stopping to recharge. But the availability to stop, that's what's going to change, and it's what's going to change rapidly."