Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced a major step forward in ending "range anxiety" for owners of electric vehicles (EVs) with the awarding of grants for 56 publicly-available EV charging stations in 42 locations across the state.
"Our goal is a network of charging stations that allows anyone driving an electric vehicle to travel anywhere in our state with total confidence that they will be able to recharge their car battery when necessary," said Governor Malloy. "The grants we are announcing today will bring us one step closer to that goal by adding to the nearly 100 charging stations that are already available and putting more of them at restaurants, businesses, colleges, medical centers, municipal parking facilities, and other convenient locations for the public."
"These grants will help fulfill my vision of a cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy future for the families and businesses of our state," Governor Malloy said. "A recent federal Department of Energy study shows that it costs less than half the cost of using gasoline to operate an electric vehicle -- and the availability of more charging stations helps provide a wider choice of vehicles for our residents."
Funding for the grants, which total $135,946, comes from provisions of the April 2012 settlement agreement with the state that allowed for the merger of Northeast Utilities and NStar. The grants are being awarded to 36 municipalities, businesses and organizations, some of whom will install charging stations at multiple locations as well as charging stations that can service multiple vehicles at one time.
The grants range from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the specific requirements of each project and the technology being used. Each grant will make up a partial amount of the total cost of hardware and installation costs, meaning that each award will drive private investment in a network of charging stations across the state.
The grant announcement follows last week's announcement of an agreement among the Governors of Connecticut and seven other states to promote the use of so-called zero-emissions vehicles in order to put 3.3 million of them on the road in the next dozen years.
"Our focus on expanding the number of publically available charging stations is critical to meeting the goals of the eight-state agreement to increase consumer awareness and demand for alternative vehicles," Governor Malloy said. "Building people's confidence in the availability of charging stations will help spark sales and use of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles."
"The growing use of electric vehicles offers the promise of cutting costs for motorists but also improving our environment and public health," said Commissioner Daniel C. Esty of Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which administers the grant program.
"Cars and trucks burning gasoline and diesel are one of the largest sources of air pollution and greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change," Esty said. "By reducing the number of them on the road, we will clean our air, combat climate change, and reduce the incidence of respiratory ailments among our residents."
Connecticut's Attorney General George Jepsen and Consumer Counsel Elin Katz, who were instrumental in negotiating the NU-NStar settlement agreement, offered their support of using funds from it to help finance the installation of electric vehicle charging stations.
"Charging station availability, or lack thereof, can be a significant factor for consumers who are considering an electric vehicle," said Attorney General Jepsen. "Efforts like this that contribute to improved air quality in our state will have a real and lasting impact on public health. I applaud Governor Malloy and DEEP for using settlement funds to make these grants available."
"As the consumers' advocate, I am pleased to see another direct benefit to Connecticut residents from the NU/NStar Settlement Agreement," said Consumer Counsel Elin Katz. These charging stations will provide cleaner air, lower the cost of transportation, modernize our transportation infrastructure, and serve as an important example to other states. At no cost to electric consumers, this is a win-win for the state and our residents."
"This major expansion in publicly available charging stations is a tremendous signal to consumers that now is the time to buy an electric vehicle," said William Dornbos, Connecticut Director of ENE (Environment Northeast). "Electric vehicles not only reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector and move us away from fossil fuel dependence, but they also save consumers. We look forward to working with DEEP, the legislature, Governor Malloy, and others on continuing efforts to speed the adoption of this critically important technology."