Will electric vehicle study spark new way to move through North Dakota?

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BISMARCK, N.D. - As state legislators look into building charging stations, Capital Electric Co-operative was at the state capitol to show the public what electric vehicles can do.

Kim Celley was tired of paying 50 dollars or more a week to fill up her car. So she switched off gasoline entirely, saving about $30 a week.

"The only expense to this car is buying new tires and wiper blades for it,” said Celley.

But she says the car can't make the long trips because there's a not enough charging stations around North Dakota- Now the state is looking at building a private/public partnered electric vehicle network.

“That would be great so we could take it to Dickinson. Take it to Montana, Minnesota there's not any charging stations so to do that would entail staying overnight some place,” said Celley.

Capital Electric Cooperative says they support the study and want to see charging stations built.

"We feel that if you can travel across the state just like you could with internal combustion vehicle, there'd be nothing stopping a huge upswing in the electric vehicle purchase in the state,” said Josh Schaffner, the Energy Services Director for Capital Electric.

And they wouldn't be meant only for driveways- The NDDOT wants public transit to use electric, too.

"We want electric vehicles in our cities in the state of North Dakota,” said Linda Sitz, Strategic Innovations Manager for the NDDOT.

But it will be up to the legislature to decide if the state will spark a new way. Potential challenges are the spread out nature of the state and the extreme cold- which can cut some cars' ranges by 40 percent.