WESTON, Conn. Robin Tauck drives her 2011 electric Tesla back and forth to New York and charges up at her home in Weston.
Now, Tauck can charge her car at the first town-owned electric-charging station located at the Luciano Park Commuter Lot on Charles Street in Westport.
"I think it's extremely progressive for Westport," Tauck said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday. "As Americans, we are the largest consumers of fossil fuels in the world. It's time to start to reverse the trends."
Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said he hopes the charging station will encourage more residents to purchase electric cars.
"I encourage Americans to make a lifestyle change" to help the planet, said Joseloff. "It's not easy to be green. It's not easy for a community to be green. It's not easy for CL&P to be green," but when a goal is set, "it's a lot easier and safer for all of us."
Cars are hooked up one at a time, with the Chevy Volt taking four hours to completely charge up on this system: the Level II, 240-volt charging station. Charging a Chevy Volt in a regular 120-volt socket takes about double that time. The electricity needed to fully charge an electric vehicle battery costs about $3 at home and as little as 25 cents away from home.
Westport is the first town in the nation to offer drivers a pay-by-phone option with Park NOW! from Mobile Now LLC. The charging station is free to parking pass-holders while the town evaluates the use of the station.
Connecticut Light & Power installed Westport's charging station as part of its electric vehicle research project to study plug-in car recharging in New England. About 20 municipalities and business customers are expected to participate.
To raise awareness of plug-in electric vehicles, Northeast Utilities, CL&P's parent company, developed an online resource called "Plug My Ride."
Will you use Westport's charging station? Where would you like to see a charging station set up? Leave your suggestions in the box below.
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