Blogs > Power to the People

Following energy issues in the state of Connecticut and beyond.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Westport Plugs In To Electric Vehicle Charger Network

Connecticut Light & Power debuted the first of its municipal charging stations for electric vehicles in Westport on Monday.

The charging station is located in the Luciano Park Commuter Lot on Charles Street and parking pass-holders can charge their electric vehicles for free. The 240-volt charging station there can fully charge a Chevy Volt in four hours.

The station was installed by CL&P as part of a study to determine how electric vehicle owners use and charge their cars. Similar stations are planned for West Hartford and Mansfield and Torrington.

“We’ve worked hard to make Connecticut an early market for EVs,” said Jeff Butler, CL&P’s president and chief operating officer. “We’re excited to see towns like Westport take advantage of the opportunity to become a leader in clean technology.”

Dan Esty, commissioner of the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, lauded the company's research initiative.

“By anticipating and supporting the market for new plug-in EVs, we can all benefit from a cleaner, lower-cost and locally available fuel alternative,” Esty said. “Connecticut is well positioned to lead in the deployment of electric vehicles and related infrastructure, and this initiative is a step towards achieving our goal of being a national leader.”

The Connecticut charging stations will be part of a network of more than 30 locations that data will be collected from across three states. C
L&P's sister companies Western Massachusetts Electric Co. and Public Service Company of New Hampshire have already installed charging stations at company offices in Springfield, Mass. and Manchester, N.H. respectively.

All three companies are part of Berlin, Conn.-based Northeast Utilities. To further raise awareness of electric vehicles, NU has developed a regional on-line resource called “Plug My Ride” to connect consumers and other groups interested in electric transportation.

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