June 18, 2013

Rhode Island rolling out 50 car-charging stations

The Associated Press

BRISTOL, R.I. – Rhode Island is building up to 50 electric vehicle charging stations for motorists around the state and also plans to purchase hybrid or electric-powered vehicles for the state fleet whenever possible, the governor announced Tuesday.

click image to enlarge

An electric charging station is seen on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 in Montpelier, Vt. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and Quebec Premier Pauline Marois say they're implementing an electric vehicle charging corridor across the international boundary between the state and province. The corridor will initially link Burlington and Montreal with more than 20 charging stations along the 138-mile route. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

Vermont-to-Montreal corridor will also have chargers

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Starting this fall, people who drive electric vehicles should be able to travel the 138-mile route between Burlington and Montreal without worrying they'll run short of a charge thanks to a planned electric vehicle charging corridor, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and Quebec Premier Pauline Marois announced in Montreal.

Initially the corridor will have more than 20 charging stations along the route, although it's expected the number of stations will increase.

"Alternative fuel vehicles lower our reliance on gasoline, helping both our environment and our energy independence," Shumlin said Monday in Montreal at an event with Marois.

"With the number of alternative energy vehicles growing at tremendous rates, these stations, along with websites identifying their location, will support visitors and residents as they use this clean and efficient mode of transportation."

The agreement announced Monday also envisions a similar corridor on other cross-border routes, including between Magog and Sherbrook in Quebec's eastern townships and St. Johnsbury in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.

"The partnership between Vermont and Quebec is a long one filled with many issues of common interests," Marois said.

"Today's announcement outlining the installation of the electric charging network is a concrete example of our shared leadership in the field of sustainable development and clean energy use."

The corridor's official opening will take place this fall.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee said the moves, paid for by federal stimulus money, will help improve the state's economy and save money on gas.

"We are developing a clean and efficient transportation infrastructure for the future, saving taxpayer dollars and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants," Chafee said in a written statement.

The first charging station is at Roger Williams University in Bristol. The others are scheduled to be installed by Sept. 30, said Allison Rogers of the state Department of Administration.

Before the announcement, Rhode Island had 11 publicly available charging stations. It is not known how many electric cars are currently registered in the state, but advocates say about 100,000 are on the road nationwide.

State officials said the stations will be installed in convenient places such as restaurants and shopping plazas as well as popular destinations like state parks and beaches. The stations will have two charging spots, and officials hope many will be free to use.

The state awarded a $781,225 contract to charging station company ChargePoint to find places for and to install the stations. Drivers will be able to use their smartphones or go online to reserve a station.

The state has already replaced 30 gas-powered cars in its fleet with hybrids and plug-in hybrids, Director of Administration Richard Licht said. The federal stimulus money will pay for the difference in upfront cost between those and gas-powered vehicles.The Associated Press


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