Tuesday, June 28, 2022

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Essex Welcomes New Electric Vehicle Charging Station


This two-car electric charging station was installed in Essex in November as part of the town’s Sustainable Essex efforts. Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier

This two-car electric charging station was installed in Essex in November as part of the town’s Sustainable Essex efforts. (Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier)

A new public electric vehicle (EV) charging station in Essex, located behind the United States Postal Service at 12 Main Street, is making it easy for owners of electric vehicles to charge up.

“I used it the first day it went active and again today,” said Stephen Shamakian, a longtime resident of Ivoryton, who owns a Tesla. “It’s a very, very easy process.”

Sustainable Essex spearheaded the EV charging station project, raising more than $7,500, with a portion matched by Sustainable CT’s Community Match Fund program to fund the total cost of the project, $14,084. It was installed in Essex this November.

A total of 34 donors contributed. Shamakian was one of them.

He said that “helping to add more capability, capacity, or spots that the [EV] community can share is a win-win in my opinion.”

Although there are already several EV charging stations nearby along Route 1, the station in Essex adds another location along the Route 9 corridor.

“It’s also a really nice perk to have when visiting downtown Essex,” said Shamakian.

Conceptualized in part as an economic development tool, the station promises to attract new visitors to Essex.

“Whether you live in town or are visiting, you can park and charge your car for a few hours while enjoying one of the downtown restaurants or the many shops we have,” said Mark de Jongh, a member of the Sustainable Essex Committee who helped bring the project to fruition.

The station is categorized as a level 2 charger, which means that electric vehicles can fully charge in four to eight hours. A hybrid electric and gas vehicle can fully charge in two hours or less. Two EVs can charge at the same time.

To use the station, a driver selects one of two chargers and swipes a credit card to unlock the cable.

Then, “you just plug it in,” said Shamakian. “It’s that simple.”

The first hour of charging is free; it’s $1 per hour afterward.

“So, two hours of charging would probably allow for about 40 miles of range in your electric car for only a dollar,” said de Jongh. “A lot less than the price of gas and much better for our air quality and environment, too.”

The State of Connecticut has recently focused on EVs and the infrastructure necessary to propagate their use as part of a plan for clean air and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

In April, the state Department of Energy & Environment Protection (DEEP) launched an EV Roadmap, identifying key areas for improvement.

“Making the consumer charging experience more consistent” and “scaling up electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) such as charging stations” are just two examples from the Roadmap related to charging stations, according to a press release from DEEP.

In total, there are 399 publicly accessible EV charging stations with a total of 1,112 charging outlets in the state, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s online Alternative Fueling Station Locator.

The station in Essex was manufactured by Enfield-based EVSE, LLC and installed by Bonner Electric.

Elizabeth Reinhart covers news for Chester, Deep River, and Essex for Zip06. Email Elizabeth at e.reinhart@shorepublishing.com.

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