Stamford will soon have three new electric vehicle charging stations, thanks to its participation in a Connecticut Light & Power research study.
According to a report in the Stamford Advocate, the new charging stations, to be installed by this December, will be located at the Government Center and the Summer Street and Bell Street garages.
Recently Westport installed a charging station under the same pilot program. Other towns participating include Torrington, West Hartford and Mansfield, along with UBS in Stamford, according to the report.
CL&P is reportedly installing about 30 of the charging stations statewide in an effort to study how electric vehicle owners will use them. What’s more, CL&P hopes that by installing the charging stations across the state, it can help promote the use of electric vehicles.
CL&P officials said the program is in preparation for the arrival of electric vehicles in the market, and should help allay concerns among electric vehicle owners that there aren’t enough charging stations, thus allowing them drive their electric vehicles for longer distances with confidence.
Each 240-volt charging station will cost about $3,000 to install, according to the report. CL&P is hoping that the timing is right, as the hybrid electric Chevy Volt and the fully electric Nissan Leaf, in addition to other hybrid and electric vehicles, are now available through dealerships in Connecticut.
In addition, Stamford is using part of a separate federal energy efficiency grant to install two charging stations at the Bedford Street garage, according to the report. Those charging will be partially powered by a solar power array, the report states.
Initially the charging stations will be free to all users. However, eventually they will be switched over to a payment system, possibly using a smartphone application, with rates averaging around $3.00 for every two hours of charging.
Questions remain, however, as to how many electric vehicles will sell in the area over the next few years, and how much the charging stations will actually be used. There also remain questions as to who is ultimately financially responsible for building the infrastructure needed to prepare for the arrival of electric vehicles.
To see a full list of charging station locations in Connecticut, click here.