Little by little, the number of public charging stations for electric vehicles is increasing in this area.
Southington has installed two stations — one at the Municipal Center and one at the Southington Library — and has purchased an electric vehicle. Cheshire’s Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a charging station for the Big Y plaza. Last fall, two charging stations were installed at the Stop & Shop in Wallingford.
This is good news, even though it’s just a beginning. After all, gasoline stations far outnumber charging stations, just as fossil fuel-burning cars still vastly outnumber electric cars. And often it takes a state grant to encourage a business to install a public charging station. But it’s a start.
(On its website, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection maintains a map and list of public charging stations, including addresses and hours of operation.)
The Southington stations will be free to the public for three years.
The town will cover the electricity costs. “We’re fully prepared to do that,” said Town Manager Garry Brumback. “Our goal is to be the greenest town in Connecticut. This is another step in that direction.” The Cheshire station will be free to the public for the first three years, and perhaps longer, with power provided by Big Y.
The chargers at Stop & Shop in Wallingford are available to the public 24 hours a day, and there is no fee to use them.
The four existing stations in Meriden are also open 24 hours, and there are charging stations in Plainville, Berlin and North Haven as well. So far, Hartford leads the state, with 15 electric vehicle charging stations.
We’re not ready to conclude that electric cars are “the wave of the future,” as some believe; whereas hybrid cars use an on-board engine to recharge the batteries, “pure” electrics have limited range, thus the need for charging stations.
Nevertheless, it’s encouraging to see that these area towns are determined not to be left behind.
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