Waterbury among towns to get new EV chargers – Waterbury Roundabout

Jan. 14, 2021  |  By Lisa Scagliotti 

A company in White River Junction this week announced a $1 million program to add new electric vehicle chargers for the public to use in six Vermont communities, including Waterbury.

Norwich EV plans to install charging stations funded by a $750,000 state grant and its own investment of $250,000, according to a company announcement on January 10.

The company is working with the Vermont Commerce and Community Development Agency, the Natural Resources Agency, the Transportation Agency and the Vermont Department of Public Service to increase electric vehicle charging capacity in centers -Towns in Vermont. The move is part of the state’s plan to expand the vehicle charging network along highway corridors.

The grant will enable Norwich EV to install and operate high and/or medium speed chargers in: Alburgh, Brighton, Bradford, Hardwick, Waterbury and Vergennes. In Waterbury’s case, the units will be Level 2 chargers, which take several hours to charge, according to Berrett Walter, Norwich EV’s Clean Technology project manager.

The price for using the mid-speed charger will be $0.20/kWh, or about the equivalent of $1.65/gallon of gasoline, the company said.

The charging stations have the dual objective of offering fast, reliable and convenient charging capacity while attracting motorists to the various city centers. “Cities were selected to fill gaps in Vermont’s publicly accessible freeway corridor charging station network, with the goal of promoting electric vehicle adoption and travel by reducing fuel anxiety. range,” Norwich EV’s announcement reads.

Currently in Waterbury there are a number of electric vehicle charging stations located at public facilities and private businesses: Waterbury Municipal Offices, Waterbury Railway Station, State Office Complex, Ben & Jerry’s factory, SunCommon offices, Parro’s Gun Shop and Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea roasting and coffee shop.

Norwich EV has just started contacting community leaders for the project. Waterbury town officials said they were aware of the announcement, but no detailed discussion has yet taken place.

The proposal calls for the installation of three charging stations together on land owned by the municipality in each of the communities. Ideally, they would be accessible from 3 to 4 parking spaces, a company spokeswoman said.

“Working closely with each city, Norwich EV will thoughtfully develop electric vehicle charging destinations that support both Vermont residents and those visiting Vermont,” Walter said.

Norwich EV aims to begin installation in 2022 with partner E&S Electric Company of Williamstown. AmpUp will help manage the network, pricing and energy loading of electric vehicle charging stations and provide easy online access to customers and utilities.

Matt Bloom, director of strategic partnerships at AmpUp, said the stations will serve multiple functions. “Stations will be a welcome addition to increasing tourism and trade while promoting clean transport,” he said.

Founded in 2011, Norwich Technologies develops and markets innovations in clean energy technologies, including the advancement of transportation electrification. The company says its philosophy is to encourage the expansion of the charging network to reduce “range anxiety” among electric vehicle drivers. This refers to how electric vehicles have a range in which they can operate before needing to recharge. Having a reliable network of charging facilities is important for EV owners to be able to travel more than short distances.

More EVs on the road

According to the State Commerce and Community Development Agency, the state of Vermont has invested more than $3.5 million in public electric vehicle charging stations in all 14 counties since 2014. The agency says Vermont now ranks first in the nation for the number of charging stations per capita with 114 public charging stations per 100,000 residents. The state has an interactive map with charging station locations.

The state started in 2014 with subsidies for the construction of the network of charging stations. An initial amount of $200,000 funded 15 stations. Since then, growth in electric vehicle ownership in Vermont has been strong, from 943 registered in the state in July 2015 to 4,360 in January 2021, according to state data.

In 2017, additional funding became available as part of the settlement with Volkswagen for violation of the Clean Air Act. This resulted in $1 million in grants awarded to 30 projects in 2019 that installed 80 charging stations along road corridors, at public park and ride lots, at major attractions and institutions, in proximity to multi-family housing and workplaces.

Another $1.7 million in financing from Volkswagen followed in 2020 and was awarded to Blink Charging, which will install charging stations at 11 locations along Vermont’s highway corridors this year.

This latest funding for Norwich EV through a tender process was approved by the state legislature in 2020. Its six sites, including Waterbury, are due to receive new stations this summer and fall , according to the project description of the State.

Subsidies to extend home charging

In a separate announcement this week, the state of Vermont issued a call for proposals for a grant program that will allocate $1 million to fund electric vehicle charging stations in multi-unit housing developments, with a preference for sites in affordable housing and those owned by not-for-profit corporations.

Grants will be awarded up to $80,000 per site and $300,000 per applicant. By announcing the program. Governor Phil Scott said, “Ensuring Vermonters have access to home charging options will support the transition to electric vehicles, which will benefit the environment and reduce transportation costs for Vermonters.

The state estimates that 80% of electric vehicle charging is done at home. However, the lack of home charging capacity is a major obstacle for apartment or condo residents wishing to acquire electric vehicles.

The deadline to apply is April 1 with an online webinar on January 26. Program details are online at accd.vermont.gov/multiunit_dwelling.

Build electric transport infrastructure

Vermont Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn said public and private sector investment in electric vehicle technology and infrastructure is significant. “Vermont continues to be a leader in the adoption of electric vehicles, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and paving the way for a more sustainable transportation system,” he said. .

David Roberts is coordinator of Drive Electric Vermont, an organization that promotes the expansion of the presence of electric vehicles in Vermont. Both charging efforts — new installations in city centers and in residential areas — are steps in the right direction, he said.

“Ultimately, it would be great to see charging available in nearly every residence across the state as EV usage increases,” Roberts said.

He noted that Vermont’s climate action plan finalized in December calls for electric vehicle use to grow from about 5,500 vehicles on Vermont roads today to 170,000 vehicles by 2030.

These projections follow the evolution of the auto industry, as almost all major automakers are now committing to convert a large part of their fleet to electric vehicles by 2030, said Duncan McDougall, president of Waterbury Local Energy Action Partnership (LEAP), a non-profit organization and the city. energy committee focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy and emission reduction.

“Interest in electric vehicles is very high,” McDougall said. For the past several years, LEAP has held a popular EV fair for vehicle owners, potential owners, dealers and experts to discuss the latest developments, models, and to view and test vehicles. Last year’s event attracted over 200 people and 18 vehicles to check out.

Increasing electric vehicle charging capacity statewide near where people travel and live will play a role in the decisions more Vermonters make to get electric vehicles, McDougall said.

Roberts of Drive Electric agreed. “The market share of electric vehicles has doubled over the past year, and this is just the beginning, as more affordable models continue to arrive in Vermont, the availability of used electric vehicles increases and incentives reduce upfront costs,” he said.

Flynn said more opportunities are looming to continue to build on electric transportation projects. “Vermont will continue this work with millions of dollars in federal funds that will be available through the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and administered by the Transportation Agency,” he said. declared. “AOT looks forward to continuing to work with our federal partners, other state agencies, non-governmental agencies and other stakeholders, as well as the private sector on this historic, multidisciplinary and transformative endeavor.”

Roberts said Drive Electric looks forward to these future investments. “We are currently working with the state to develop an electric vehicle charging deployment plan that will help identify priorities for the $21 million in electric vehicle charging funding that is expected to flow to Vermont,” a- he said, referring to the Federal Investment and Jobs Act.

That planning process will take place this year and it could identify needs in the Waterbury region for even more carrying capacity in the future, Roberts added.

More information on the state’s investments and projects in the electric vehicle charging network is online at vermont.gov.

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