Charge Ahead

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COLUMBIA - Ameren Missouri proposed an incentive program to install more charging stations for electric cars across Missouri. The program, called "Charge Ahead", would give businesses the option to get some reimbursement for installing the fueling stops. 

Ameren said the project could help eliminate certain barriers for those who drive electric cars, such as preventing some drivers from worrying about whether or not they can find a charging station. 

The Public Service Commission still needs to approve the project. Ameren estimates the budget would be around $18 million. 

Skander Yalaoui drives his electric car to work every day in Columbia. He said one of the biggest barriers to driving electric right now is commuting without many places to charge. 

Yalaoui said more people would be likely to get electric cars if it was easier to travel further distances. 

"I think they should build as many of them as possible. I think we should develop this technology as fast as we can. The quicker I think they get the infrastructure up I think the more adoption they'll have," Yalaoui said. 

Ameren Missouri said the charging station would probably primarily be built near highways and other high traffic areas. 

Tom Stegeman, the general manager at a car dealership in Jefferson City, said electric cars and even hybrids are smart choices for families because the upkeep is much cheaper than non-electric cars. 

"They're very reliable cars, and they actually require a lot less maintenance. Your oil change interval is every 10,000 miles, and your brakes last roughly twice as long," he said. 

Ameren said it will be several months before the Public Service Commission decides whether or not to approve the project.