Electric vehicles are inching closer, with several already priced and rearing to go, but so far would-be owners won't have to pay for the devices to charge their cars. Free charging stations are popping up at every red dot on this map, and apparently not satisfied with the 1,600 that Coulomb's installing in California and the three at City Hall, San Francisco and neighboring cities have just approved $5 million for over 5,000 more chargers -- of which only 50 will appear along public highways, for some reason. Meanwhile, the state of Michigan has approved the first standardized rate for EV charger use -- a pilot program by provider DTE Energy will see 2,500 customers paying $40 per vehicle per month (or a variable off-peak rate) through December 2012. Gotta wonder how those grey states are feeling right about now.

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San Francisco Bay Area gets $5 million for EV chargers, Detroit will charge $40 per month