DEEP: Governor Malloy Declares Connecticut a "Range Confident" State for Drivers of Electric Vehicles

April 22, 2014
 
Governor Malloy Declares Connecticut a "Range Confident" State for Drivers of Electric Vehicles
 
Earth Day Announcement Highlights Charging Stations Funded Through EVConnecticut Program
 
Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that with a growing network of publicly available charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs), Connecticut can now be considered a “range confident” state, giving drivers more confidence than ever before that they can recharge their batteries when needed.
 
“For well over 90% of Connecticut residents, there is now a publicly-accessible electric vehicle charging station within 20 miles that drivers can use to power up the battery on electric vehicles,” Governor Malloy said.  “Our state has a reliable network that will soon include more than 187 publicly available charging stations, thanks in good measure to the state’s EVConnecticut program that is helping to fund the installation of 96 of these stations.”
 
Governor Malloy pointed residents to a new map located on the state’s Open Data website, located at data.ct.gov, which pinpoints each of the public EV charging stations around the state.
 
He continued, “It is fitting to make this ‘range confident’ announcement on Earth Day because EVs are a ‘win-win’ for our residents.  They are less expensive to operate than conventional vehicles and they also operate without tailpipe emissions.  This means greater use of EVs can help reduce air pollution and improve public health.”
 
The Governor made his announcement after viewing several new models at an electric vehicle showcase hosted by Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) in Hartford.  He also participated in a ceremony held during the showcase to charge the first EV at a new public charging station recently installed outside of DEEP’s headquarters on 79 Elm Street.
 
“Governor Malloy’s electric vehicle announcement today further demonstrates Connecticut’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, part of an overall strategy to protect our environment, clean up our waterways, and build healthier, stronger, more sustainable communities across the state,” said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman.  “Thanks to the hard work of our state agencies, the commitment of Connecticut’s environmental nonprofit organizations, and thoughtful residents making earth-friendly choices in their own homes, schools, and businesses, we will leave a better state to our children and grandchildren.”
 
“Range confidence” means that EV owners will be able to operate their vehicles without fear of finding themselves a long distance from the nearest publicly available electric vehicle charging station.  Coupled with the economic appeal of electric vehicles – charging an electric car is the equivalent to paying around $1.80/gallon of gas, about 50% less than the average price of gas in the state – range confidence will encourage prospective car buyers to make the decision to purchase an EV.
 
State Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) purchased a zero-emission Nissan Leaf electric car last year, and said she has spent all of $120 to go 5,000 miles – with no maintenance costs, either.
 
“It’s better for the environment, our family is saving a ton of money and it’s a great choice for those who live near their work,” Senator Bye said. “I applaud DEEP for making this investment in an electric charging station at its headquarters and Governor Malloy for overseeing the infrastructure of electric charging stations across the state. It’s a great day for Connecticut residents.”
 
A number of other state officials, automotive representatives, and environmental advocates also joined Governor Malloy at the event.
 
DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee said, “Connecticut is part of a bold eight-state initiative to put 3.3 million zero-emissions vehicles on the road by 2025.  Expanding the number of publicly available charging stations and achieving ‘range confidence’ is critical to meeting this goal.”
 
“Auto dealers have a strong role to play in putting Connecticut on the road to clean fuels and clean vehicles, and we are pleased to be a partner with the state in this initiative,” said Jim Fleming, President of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association (CARA).  “Auto dealers and their salespeople are working hard to make certain our customers are well aware of the benefits and advantages of EVs.”
 
“Governor Malloy’s decision to pursue a ‘range confident’ Connecticut was absolutely right on,” said Environment Northeast Executive Director Dan Sosland.  “Now that we have the public charging infrastructure necessary for electric vehicles to refuel throughout Connecticut, we can truly begin to reap their many valuable benefits – real consumer savings from low-operating costs, cleaner air from zero tailpipe emissions, a safer climate due to reduced carbon pollution, and a more secure energy future through decreased dependence on imported gasoline.  Governor Malloy and DEEP should be applauded for this major step forward in clean energy policy.”
 
“More electric vehicles and other clean transportation on Connecticut roads mean less carbon emissions, which will help to meet our state climate goals,” said Roger Reynolds, legal director of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment.  “With our state’s track record on clean car innovations and high rate of hybrid vehicle purchases, we’re poised to benefit hugely from the advantages that electric vehicles have to offer, like cleaner air and savings on gas.  Now that the infrastructure is in place, we look forward to policies that will increase consumer adoption of electric vehicles by providing benefits directly to EV consumers and leading by example with the state fleet.”
 
Background on EVConnecticut
 
EVConnecticut is a partnership of DEEP and Connecticut’s Department of Transportation.  It is designed to promote the use of EVs and has focused initial efforts on developing an extensive system of charging stations across the state.
 
EVConnecticut has provided $216,046 in grants to fund the installation of 68 charging stations in 44 cities and towns across the state.  These publicly available stations – whose locations are shown on a map at the EVConnecticut web site – can be found at town halls, train stations, town centers, college campuses, and auto dealers.
 
Funds for the grants were made available from the settlement agreement with the state that allowed for the merger of Northeast Utilities and NStar.
 
EVConnecticut has also begun to deploy “fast chargers” for EVs – recharging stations that can provide a full charge in around 30 minutes along Connecticut’s highway corridors.
 
EVConnecticut and the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association (CARA) are also sponsoring the “Connecticut Revolutionary Dealer Award,” which will recognize state automobile dealers who sell or lease the highest number of EVs from February 1 – July 31 of this year.
 
Background on Electric Vehicles
 
Electric cars (often referred to as electric vehicles or EVs) are powered entirely by an electric motor supplied by a large battery.  Unlike traditional hybrid cars, electric cars do not have a gasoline engine; they are “fueled” by plugging into an electric charging station.  A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle has an electric motor, an internal combustion engine and a plug to connect to the electrical grid.
 
Electric cars do not emit pollution when you drive them because they do not have a tailpipe.  Because Connecticut has one of the cleanest electricity-production portfolios in the United States, electric cars driven in our state will be responsible for significantly less air pollution than gasoline or diesel fuel-powered cars.
 
Electric vehicles are also cheaper to operate than conventionally-fueled vehicles.  A recent federal Department of Energy study shows that the cost of operating an electric vehicle in Connecticut is the equivalent of purchasing gasoline in the range of $1.60 - $2.00/gallon.  Other cost savers of electric cars are that they are virtually maintenance-free and are exempt from Connecticut’s emissions testing program if they do not use range extending gasoline engines.
 
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