SOUTHINGTON — Walter Tregoning recently set up a public-use electric vehicle charging station on the west side of his business with help from a grant provided from the state.
Last week Gov. Dannel P. Malloy awarded $135,946 worth of grants to 56 different businesses around the state for charging stations. The funds came from a settlement agreement allowing the merger of Northeast Utilities and NStar.
Grant amounts range from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the technology used at each station.
“Our goal is a network of charging stations that allows anyone driving an electric vehicle to travel anywhere in our state with total confidence that they will be able to recharge their car battery when necessary,” Malloy said in a statement.
Tregoning owns CT Insurance Exchange of Southington on Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike and was one of three businesses in Southington to receive the grant. The other two are Samra Family, LLC on Queen Street and the Connecticut Sikh Association on West Street.
“It’s obvious they would pick Southington because of the five exits off the highway and the central location is certainly beneficial,” said Art Secondo, the president of the town’s Chamber of Commerce.
Tregoning drives a 2013 Tesla, a car that runs purely on electricity. His wife, Lisa Tregoning, drives a Volt, a gas-electric car. When Tregoning’s Tesla is fully charged he can drive for 300 miles before having to charge again. If he was completely out of battery, which he tries not to do, Tregoning said it takes about six hours to gain it back again.
“We thought it was a great idea,” Walter Tregoning said. “I was going to do it anyway and then my wife got word on getting grants.”
It cost Tregoning about $1,700 to install the device on the side of his building.
“We hooked ours up two days ago,” said Lisa Tregoning.
About 24 hours ago the Tregoning’s added their address to an smart phone application called PlugShare, which shows users all the charging stations around them.
“If you’re planning a long trip, you can plug it in and it tells you from mile to mile where to go to if you want to charge,” Tregoning said.
The only thing that Tregoning is waiting for is an official sign from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection that says it is an electric vehicle charging area and patrons can only park there if they are charging their vehicle. Tregoning said he has to take a photo of the sign and the charging station and send it back to the state before getting reimbursed.