Norwalk celebrates county's first municipal electric vehicle charging stations
NORWALK -- The Norwalk Parking Authority and Car Charging Group Inc., a provider of electric vehicle charging services, celebrated at the South Norwalk train station Monday afternoon the installation of the first municipal electric vehicle charging stations in Fairfield County.
The Miami-based company has installed six electric vehicle charging stations in the city -- two at the railroad station, two at the Maritime Garage and two at the Yankee Doodle Garage.
"We are proud that we have got this done quickly in advance of the rollout of the electric vehicles," said Kathryn Hebert, the authority's executive director.
Hebert said Mayor Richard Moccia approached her seven months ago about installing charging stations prior to the 2011 release of electric vehicles, such as the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf.
"[People] needed a place to actually charge them," she said.
Car Charging Group is installing the networked charging stations at no cost to the city.
"We're all in this together, as far as conserving energy," Moccia said. "We are at the forefront, installing six in total. This installation is a part of keeping Norwalk on the move and moving toward a greener city. We hope it's a classic case of `if you build it, they will come.' "
Other recent green initiatives by the Norwalk Parking Authority include the installation of solar-powered pay stations, environmentally friendly lighting at all garages and the use of a T3 scooter for security at the South Norwalk railroad station, which costs only 10 cents per day with little or no maintenance.
Moccia said he hopes in 10 years, one out of five vehicles on the road will be electric cars.
Car Charging Group CEO Michael Farkas noted that Connecticut was chosen as one of the seven markets where Chevy is launching its Volt. In addition, Nissan says it has more than 20,000 reservations nationwide for the Leaf; Ford has announced an all-electric Focus to be released later this year. Car Charging Group provides electric charging stations at no charge to property owners, thus allowing drivers access to convenient locations, while partners earn a percentage of the charging revenue generated.
Farkas said the company's mission is to build a nationwide infrastructure of electric vehicle charging stations so drivers do not have to worry about whether their electric vehicles will be supplied for long trips.
"The way that Americans drive is about to undergo a radical evolution," he said. "All of these [electric] cars have one thing in common: They need to be recharged."
Farkas noted estimates of 40 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.