Rhode Island’s Office of Energy Resources will oversee a project that will install at least 30 public electric vehicle charging stations in that state over the coming year.
This is a major undertaking, as it will not only significantly expand the state's EV backbone—thus making it more alluring for prospective EV customers—but will also make for new jobs while cutting down on emissions and raising the Rhode Island's clean-tech profile.
While at least three of the stations will be on state property, eighty percent of the new ones will be on public property.
By January 15, contractors will have to submit deadlines, and the state expects all new stations to be up by August 15.
"This is a fantastic development for the state," said Scott Miller, vice president of ChargePoint, an electric vehicle charging station developer that plans to bid on the Rhode Island project. ”Installing a public EV infrastructure has proven to lead to more EV sales in a particular area. Most EV drivers will charge at home, but they feel much more comfortable knowing there is a public charging infrastructure available to them.”
It’s a significant initiative, and financing arrives from the federal American Resources and Recovery Act. Costs are going to be fairly high—charging equipment can cost up to $6,500.
The stations will likely use a common 240-volt platform, which means the stations will take 5-7 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle. But under the assumption that the vehicles will carry at least some charge, perhaps 1-3 hours of plugged-in time is more realistic.
This collaborative project involves Project Get Ready, Ocean State Clean Cities, National Grid, and the state’s Division of Planning and OER. Focus will be on situating stations in highly visible, public locations.
It will be interesting to observe the long-term impact of this initiative on EVs in Rhode Island. Currently, one of the biggest hindrances to many prospective electric vehicle owners is the lack of charging infrastructure.