Southington to receive new EV charging stations  

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SOUTHINGTON — Southington is slated to receive several new charging stations for electric vehicles within the next year, town officials say.

The locations are Riccio Way near the municipal parking lot, the corner of Center and South Center streets, the Bank of America parking lot on Main Street and on Canal Street near the heritage trail are slated for the new stations. The two existing stations at the John Weichsel Municipal Center on North Main Street and the library will also be getting total replacements.

The project is slated to be potentially part of the town’s capital budget next year and will cost around $66,200 to implement. While it’s anticipated that the new charging stations will be fully constructed by the end of next year, that may be subject to change with continued supply chain issues that have caused delays for other town projects across the board.

The new stations will be dual-headed and located near utility poles at the sites and will cost money for those who want to use them. This is opposed to the two current charging sites in town, which are free. Though that arrangement was part of the original grant the town received to install them in 2014, and according to Public Works Committee Chairman Michael DelSanto, residents have complained in recent years of their tax money being used to operate them.

With the new stations the town will alleviate those complaints, as well as persistent issues with several stations where residents would park their cars and leave them charging all day while away at work.

The replacement of the two existing stations is a necessary part of the project, officials say. Though they’re still less than a decade old they’re outdated compared to more modern EV infrastructure that they feel will better serve Southington residents.

Officials feel the addition of the new stations is necessary, as part of Southington’s commitment to becoming greener and more sustainable, along with the increasing popularity of electric cars on the roads.

“The fact is the technology is so new and advanced,” DelSanto said. “There’s a need for this, the town wants to go green. Looking forward when we purchase vehicles for the town, we’re looking into whether or not we’ll take the green route — either hybrid or cars that run on this sort of power.”

Board member Chris Palmeri sought to have the current EV stations removed and replaced at the library as part of the committee’s plan, but it was determined as unnecessary as they’ll be replaced as part of the new building anyway — so while the stations will be replaced, they’re not budgeted for as part of the Public Works Committee’s current plan.

The assessment of the sites was done by Titan Energy, who the town has worked with before on electrical infrastructure projects. Two of the stations were considered in areas deemed ‘under served’ by EV infrastructure, the Bank of America and municipal center sites, granting the town more money via grants in order to alleviate construction costs.

Southington will be receiving incentive money for the installation of the stations, covering 100% of the installation and 50% of the units themselves, leaving the remaining $66,200 as part of the town’s portion of the coverage. The price is $18,183 for the three standard units and $5,825 for the under served sites.

DelSanto said the town may consider expanding the number of charging stations further depending on the success of the current project and the increasing needs of residents.

“This is the wave of the future. I know these electric vehicles are starting to take off — it’s still a very small percentage of the amount of vehicles on the road, but who knows, whatever the future holds. If more units are needed, then we’ll look into it,” he said.

Whether the improvements will be included in the budget for the capital project funds for the next year or will be sourced from elsewhere, will be announced at the Public Works Committee meeting next Wednesday.


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