Refueling electric cars spurs changes in Connecticut

Electric cars most likely represent the future. While they may seem exotic and not quite practical for most at the moment, but that probably won’t be the case in another decade — or sooner.

Yes, oil prices can fluctuate dramatically, and more oil sources are being discovered domestically every year, but the reality is that using petroleum to power cars likely will decline in the foreseeable future.

That brings us to a new initiative from the state of Connecticut to provide financial incentives for private businesses and municipalities that are interested in installing publicly accessible electric vehicle charging stations.

The goal of the new program is to more than double the 81 publicly available charging stations in Connecticut to 200 by the end of 2013, according to Daniel C. Esty, state energy and environmental protection commissioner, and James P. Redeker, state transportation commissioner.

Locally, there are two Tesla Motors Supercharger stations located on I-95 at both the north and southbound travel plazas in Milford.

The state will award $200,000 in funding for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations to proposals that provide the most matching funding from the project host site, are most accessible to the general public, and deploy charging stations in geographically diverse areas.

Businesses and municipalities that are interested in receiving a grant through the EVConnecticut Incentives program may visit, or email to

Funding of up to $2,000 is available through this program for new publicly accessible EV charging stations in order to ensure coverage within a 15-mile driving range throughout Connecticut. Applications for funding will continue to be accepted through Sept. 20.

“Electric vehicles run cleaner and are less harmful to the environment, and they are also more energy efficient and on average cheaper to operate than conventional fuel vehicles,” Esty said. He added that expanding the number of charging stations available to the public will help decrease motorists’ concerns about running out of power in their electric vehicles.

Redeker noted that transportation accounts for nearly one-third of the energy consumed in Connecticut and produces roughly 40% of the state’s greenhouse emissions.

The state is working to identify and catalog all existing public electric vehicle charging stations open in Connecticut and will be providing incentives to municipalities and private businesses for installation of additional charging stations.

A recent federal Department of Energy study shows that the cost of operating an electric vehicle in Connecticut is about the equivalent of being able to access $1.70 per gallon gasoline. By aggressively increasing the number of charging stations, the new state initiative will make it easier than ever to purchase, drive, and maintain an electric vehicle.

Installing more electric vehicle charging stations at locations convenient to the public — including in Milford, being an employment hub — is a way of improving the quality of life for all Connecticut residents, no matter what kind of vehicle they drive.