Rhode Island, for being the smallest state in the United States, is getting ready to say hello to one extensive electric vehicle charging network. It is planning for development of up to 50 electric vehicle charging stations to be installed throughout the state over the next three months.
The announcement, made from Rhode Island governor Lincoln D. Chafee, indicates these stations will be placed in a variety of easy to access points for electric car drivers, ranging from coffee shops and supermarkets to state beaches and recreation areas. It was indicated as well some of the ones located at the beaches and recreation areas could be powered by on-site solar or wind energy sources.
The state, through its Office of Energy Resources, awarded the $781,225 contract to site and install the charging stations to ChargePoint, who just recently completed its part of a federal buildout of electric vehicle charging points around the nation. Chargepoint will work with National Grid, Rhode Island’s largest utility, on the installations of stations which offer “state of the art features including the ability to locate, reserve and navigate to unoccupied charging stations with online tools and mobile applications.”
“Our charging units,” said ChargePoint CEO Pat Romano in a statement, “each of which has two charging spots, provide all the features needed to make driving an electric vehicle easy and worry free.”
Rhode Island, besides the charging network, is doing other transportation initiatives to green things up a little more. This includes transitioning the state fleet to alternative fuel vehicles via using federal dollars “to pay for the differential cost between an alternative fuel vehicle and a comparably sized gas-powered car.” So far officials said they have already replaced 30 gas-powered state cars with low-emission hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
“Supporting electric vehicle transportation in Rhode Island will provide a boost to the state economy, saving money on gas and keeping dollars that would have been spent on imported oil here in Rhode Island,” said Governor Chafee. “We are developing a clean and efficient transportation infrastructure for the future, saving taxpayer dollars and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants.”