Story and photo by Jody Ciano
The Vermont Clean Cities Coalition (VCCC) was on hand for the unveiling of Green Mountain Power’s (GMP) plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging station at Healthy Living Market in South Burlington, Vermont on October 26, 2011. The fueling station, cloaked in a sculptured tree in the parking lot of Healthy Living Market, is free to customers for the first year of operation and is compatible with all electric vehicles on the market today.
Five PEVs were on display at the event: Spark, the UVM TRC PEV, donated by Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS); Addison County Regional Planning Commission’s PEV; GMP brought their converted Toyota Prius; and CVPS and Shearer Chevrolet each brought new Chevy Volts. Healthy Living’s Eli Lesser-Goldsmith, GMP’s Mary Powell, VTrans Secretary Brian Searles, and Asa Hopkins of the Department of Public Service all spoke in support of the charging station and the widespread deployment of electric vehicles.
Availability of more public charging stations such as this may encourage more businesses and individuals to consider purchasing PEVs. The Vermont Transportation Energy Report, an annual publication by the UVM TRC and the VCCC, recently considered the feasibility of electric vehicles to meet Vermont’s travel needs, estimating that that the majority of the state’s travel demands could be electrically powered even if charging was only available at residential homes. Additionally, the report claims that with widely available workplace charging, roughly 90% of the Vermont fleet could be replaced with some form of PEV while still meeting the demands of current daily travel.
At the Healthy Living event, VCCC Coordinator Tom McGrath distributed copies of the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Handbook for Consumers, a recent US DOE Clean Cities publication. This handbook is designed to answer basic questions and to provide additional information consumers need to make the best purchasing decision when considering PEVs like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf. The handbook introduces plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, as well as all electric vehicles, and discusses the many benefits such as high fuel economy, low fuel cost, and low emissions. It also provides information on purchasing vehicle, maintenance and charging, and the details of residential charging stations.
McGrath noted that “plug-in vehicles could play a huge role in meeting the greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy goals set forth in the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan.” More charging stations are on the way. GMP recently opened a station at St. Michael’s College in Colchester and has plans to open another in downtown Montpelier. The Addison County Regional Planning Commission plans to open a charging station at its headquarters in Middlebury.
Tuttle Middle School video news segment of the event: http://www.uvm.edu/~transctr/?Page=cleancty/cc_sbnn_video.php
To download the handbook click here: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/pdfs/51226.pdf
Vermont Clean Cities Coalition (VCCC) http://www.uvm.edu/~transctr/?Page=cleancty/default.php
Vermont Transportation Energy Report http://www.uvm.edu/~transctr/trc_reports/UVM-TRC-11-007.pdf