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The days of free public charging for electric vehicles may soon be coming to an end, despite there being a lot of it out there right now, whether solar powered or as an incentive deal when buying the EV. Plug In Car's European correspondent Laurent Masson, though, is looking ahead and is making the argument that free electricity will actually hinder growth of charging networks. Instead, he writes, utilities and charging station providers need to become more like *shudder* oil companies.

How's this for a bargain? City council members in Austin, TX have brought forth a motion calling for an annual $50, unlimited use rate plan for plug-in vehicle charging. The proposed rates would apply to Austin Energy's "Plug-in Everywhere" service and would enable drivers of electric vehicles to fill up at one of the more than 100 Coulomb Technologies charging stations to be installed throughout the city by the end of summer.

NRG Energy Inc., a Texas-based energy company, has a novel idea that may entice some buyers to consider purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) soon. NRG Energy will introduce an electric vehicle charging service in the Houston, TX area early next year. Those who sign up for the service will be able to charge their EV either at home or on the road for the low monthly fee of just $60 to $80. The fee includes unlimited charging each month and covers the expense of leasing and installing a home chargin