MERIDEN — In addition to checking out books and videos, visitors to the Meriden Public Library can now recharge their electric cars and SUVs.
The city installed an electric charging station in the rear parking lot this week, thanks to a $2,200 grant from the state’s Publicly Accessible EV Charging Infrastructure Program. The program hopes to eventually have stations within 15 minutes or 10 miles of all households.
“They’re trying to set up a statewide network,” said city Economic Development Director Juliet Burdelski. “This will allow us (the city) to acquire vehicles that are electric.”
The state paid for the cost of the equipment and the city provided installation, Burdelski said.
Electric cars can travel 40 miles on a four-hour charge, with some models reaching a 100-mile range, she said. Burdelski owns an electric car and charged up at the new station Monday and Tuesday.
The library parking lot charging station is the first in the city, but the Meriden Housing Authority plans to build three more and the state Department of Transportation is adding a few at the train station, Burdelski said.
The state has close to 200 existing or planned stations; nearly all are open 24 hours a day.
Public libraries throughout the state are lobbying to have the stations on their properties as an added public service, said Karen Roesler, executive director of the Meriden Public Library. The Cheshire Public Library recently won approval to put one on its property.
According to Roesler, motorists looking for a charging station can locate public libraries easier than commercial buildings or parking lots, and it promotes a cleaner environment by reducing emissions. Visitors can also read a book while they wait for their cars to charge.
“It was an idea from a group of librarians,” Roesler said. “It’s another community service. As an educational institution, we should promote a green environment.”
Information about the state’s program is available at http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/air/electric_vehicle/ev_charging_stations_in_ct.pdf.
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