San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee just announced that electric vehicle charging will be made available free of charge in city-owned parking garages and at San Francisco International Airport until the end of 2013. San Francisco city officials are hoping that free charging will nudge vehicle-owners into the electric market — if you know you can charge up for free when you’re not at home, life is a little easier. Each charge is estimated to cost the city about $3 and with 2,750 new chargers going in — 30 of which will be “fast charge” stations — this program could end up being quite the investment in the city’s clean transportation future.

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Hopefully, San Francisco will be able to garner some information about electric vehicle ownership from the new charging stations. “We can call it experimental,” Bob Hayden told The Examiner, the clean transportation adviser at the San Francisco Department of the Environment. “It’s going to help us learn how much [charging stations] are needed and how frequently they’re used.”

In February $3.9 million was allotted by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District for four companies to begin installing chargers around the city as well as $700 for people who want to install home chargers. This new program of giving away the electricity for free comes from $300,000 in local, state and federal funding. “The idea is that in within five years, 10 percent of cars sold will be electric,” Hayden said. Hayden and other city officials are hoping that these chargers are going to help “build confidence” in electric vehicle technology thereby pushing more people into the no-emissions driving world.

Via Gizmodo