SPOKANE -

The city of Spokane and Avista have teamed up to make it easier for electric cars owners to plug in their vehicles downtown.  

The city has built an electric charging station in the parking lot just north of city hall. It's an innovative idea that electric cars owners like Daniel Schechter are happy to hear about.   "I think it's great. I think that electricity is the future. We're going to have to have charging stations and I guess someone has to put in the first one," Schechter said.   Schechter owns a three-wheel electric car that costs only $0.02 per mile to drive.   Allan DeLaubenfels bought an electric car several years ago and pays just over a penny in electricity for every mile he drives.   "Charging stations need to begin, but they won't amount to much until there are lots of them and that will come in time," DeLaubenfels said.   Both DeLaubenfels and Schechter are hopeful that electric charging stations will become more commonplace as gas prices rise and people turn to electric cars. "I think eventually we're going to have to have charging stations on every parking meter," Schechter said.   You will have to supply your own extension cord and feed the meter but the city will pick up the cost of electricity, which amounts to a few pennies a day.