Connecticut and Massachusetts Could Get EV Charging Network
Hey, hold on a just a minute Chicago, San Francisco and Portland. Connecticut and Massachusetts want in on your race to be the country’s EV hotbed.
Northeast Utilities wants to build a 575-outlet EV charging system in the Nutmeg and Bay States, The Hartford Courant says. The pilot project would take two years to complete and the outlets would be built at private homes, businesses and public spots. Total cost: $1.4 million, helped out by a $694,000 federal grant.
We’ve told you about the race between San Fran and Portland, and about plans to turn I-5 into an alt-fuel highway. Now Chicago is stealing some thunder too. Sure, the NU plan isn’t as bold as wooing Th!nk to your borders or putting $1 billion into charging infrastructure. But speaking as a Connecticut native who remembers the haze created by I-95 traffic, it’s good to see New Englanders getting into the act.
The Courant says NU’s plans would make it the first utility to create an interstate charging network, and that the utility decided it needed to be the catalyst to get something done.
“There’s a chicken-or-the-egg problem here: People may not buy electric cars if they’re worried about where they’re going to plug it in,” said Jim Robb, NU’s senior vice president of enterprise planning and development told the Courant. “Utilities are reluctant to build out a network until they know the cars are going to be there. We decided to break the chick-and-the-egg problem to get something started, and we’ll see where this goes.”
Residents and businesses who want the stations would be asked to pay a portion of the costs.
NU has been studying the impact of EVs on its grid with the Palo Alto-based Electric Power and Research Institute. Final word on the federal grant will come in June, and the project could get rolling shortly thereafter.