MARTINEZ (KCBS) — Electric-car drivers have been charging their cars for free in downtown Martinez, but the free ride is coming to an end. Drivers will have to pay starting Wednesday.

The charging station sits right across the street from the old County Courthouse. Martinez city councilman Mark Ross said the city will soon have four charging stations.

“We got them initially through grants from the air district and other sources. Now those grant monies have run out. It’s time to start planning for the future and collecting funds to maintain and replace and pay for the electricity,” Ross said.

Some drivers were parking their cars all day at the downtown station. Ross, who also sits on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board, said the stations were becoming popular.

“The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is going to be funding more of these stations around the Bay Area,” said Ross.

Fees will vary in Martinez from fifty cents to a dollar an hour, according to Ross, depending on where the car is charged. Ross said the revenue will pay for maintenance and the cost of electricity.


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