Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Monday announced partial grant funding for 56 publicly available charging stations the state to lessen "range anxiety" for owners of electric vehicles.
"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 written statement.
The vast majority of car travel occurs in trips under 30 miles, making the limited range of some electric vehicles adequate though a potentially disincentive to consumers looking to buy an electric car. In response, states like Connecticut have promoted the expansion of charging networks so that drivers have more options of where to charge their vehicles.
And the market for these electric vehicle chargers and other equipment is expected to grow sharply, a tenfold jump in the next 10 years, according to an October report by Navigant Research. Lisa Jerram, a senior research analyst with Navigant, said that early concerns about chargers, such as lack of capability among different car and charger models, have dissipated.
"Today there is increasing choice for consumers, including chargers with a wide range of power ratings, home chargers that are competing on price, public chargers with more options for payment and access, the first commercially available wireless charger, and an increasing number of high-speed DC chargers," she said.
In Connecticut, the $135,946 in grants come from last year's settlement with regulators that approved the merger of Northeast Utilities and Massachusetts utility NStar. Ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, the grants cover partial costs of equipment and installation.
"The growing use of electric vehicles offers the promise of cutting costs for motorists but also improving our environment and public health," said Commissioner Daniel C. Esty of Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which administers the grant program.
"Cars and trucks burning gasoline and diesel are one of the largest sources of air pollution and greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change," Esty said in a written statement. "By reducing the number of them on the road, we will clean our air, combat climate change, and reduce the incidence of respiratory ailments among our residents."
The grants come a week after Malloy joined governors from seven other states in an agreement to support the use of electric vehicles, with the goal of putting 3.3 million of them on the road in the next 12 years.
The chargers are spread across 36 municipalities at 42 locations:
¿ Bethel: Town of Bethel
¿ Bloomfield: Kaman Aerospace (Two locations)
¿ Bristol: Crowley Nissan
¿ Coventry: Town of Coventry
¿ Danbury: Western CT State University
¿ Durham: Perk on Main
¿ East Haddam: Ballek Garden Center
¿ East Hartford: Goodwin College
¿ Enfield: Figaro Ristorante
¿ Farmington: S&I Reality, LLC