Home News Archive Middlesex Vehicle Charging Station Inaugurated

Middlesex Vehicle Charging Station Inaugurated

by C.B. Hall
On July 7, dignitaries including Governor Peter Shumlin and Senator Patrick Leahy came to Middlesex for the official inauguration of Vermont’s 33rd electric vehicle charging station, located at the MiddleGround complex on Route 2. The station will include both level 2 and level 3 chargers; the former provides 20 miles of charge in an hour for $2, while the latter, which uses a higher amperage and voltage, will deliver 80 percent of a full battery charge in 45 minutes, according to a Green Mountain Power press release. Credit cards may be used.
The location, at a retail center with several stores, facilitates shopping while vehicles charge. Strider Development, which owns the complex, worked with GMP in developing the station. The twin chargers actually began operation on June 10. As of July 16, they had provided 12 charges, according to GMP.
The GMP release stated that 33 charging stations now dot the state map. The website www.driveelectricvt.com notes a relatively high concentration—eight stations—in Washington County.
The relative scarcity of charging stations represents part of what Leahy has termed “the chicken-and-egg problem” that hinders the introduction of electric vehicles: to make charging stations a worthwhile investment, there have to be vehicles to use them, but people won’t buy electric vehicles unless a network of charging stations already exists. Vermont’s rural character, coupled with the impracticality of waiting an hour for a charge that will get one 20 miles down the road, compounds the challenge of getting people to buy the cars, which continue to be a novelty in most parts of the state. One obvious solution to the waiting problem—stations which replace depleted batteries with charged ones, rather than recharging the former—failed in a trial venture in Israel in 2013, when a chain of such stations there went bankrupt.
Aside from their direct benefits, “the charging stations also provide an important boost to the state’s economy by saving money on gas and keeping dollars that would have been spent on imported oil right here in Vermont,” Shumlin said at the inaugural.
GMP supplies the electricity for nine of the state’s charging stations and expects to supply six more stations now in the planning stage.Sixty-eight percent of the utility’s electricitycomesfrom non-carbon-based sources such as hydroelectric generators.