Plug My Ride

Joanna Schroeder

Westport, Connecticut now has its first electric vehicle (EV) charging station. The charging station was installed as part of Connecticut Light & Power’s (CL&P) EV research project and is believed to be one of the first in the nation to offer drivers a pay-by-phone option.

“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.”

The new charging station is located at Luciano Park Commuter Lot on Charles Street and already had its first customer the same day it was unveiled – a 2011 Chevy Volt from Karl Chevrolet in New Canaan. Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseoff downloaded a mobile phone application and then plugged the Volt into the charging station.

The Level II, 240-volt charging station in Westport can fully charge a Chevy Volt in four hours. Volts can also be charged using a regular 120-volt wall socket but it takes twice the time. According to CL&P, the electricity needed to fully recharge an EV battery costs about $3.00 on average, while a driver who “tops off” could do so for as little as 25 cents.

“Westport has always been a leader in promoting green and protecting the environment,” added Joseloff. “We are pleased to join CL&P in pioneering this latest effort to encourage Americans to make a lifestyle change to help preserve our planet.”

There are plans to have at least 30 EV charging stations by year end in Connecticut, western Massachusetts and New Hampshire and they will acquire data for parent company Northeast Utilities (NU) as part of the EV research project. Also part of the program is a new online tool – Plug My Ride – to connect consumers and others interested in electric transportation.

Electric Vehicles, Electricity, Energy