Another Step Towards Going Green

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electric chargingST. JOHNSBURY - The town of St. Johnsbury is now providing parking spaces that are specifically designed for electric cars. The four spaces are part of two charging stations located in town.

 These charging stations are part of a project in Vermont to help raise the amount of electric vehicles on the roads. In St. Johnsbury, one charging station can be found on Pearl Street, the other one is at Twin State Auto. David Roberts, a consultant with the Vermont Energy Corporation explained, "The charging infrastructure is really important to give people confidence. That if they are interested in getting an electric vehicle that they will be able to get to where they need to go with it."

The station that is located on Pearl St. costs $1 an hour to charge your electric car. The one at Twin State Ford is free to use. Both of these stations are level 2 charging stations. Level 2 charging uses 240 volt power for a faster charge to an electric cars battery. An electric car can get anywhere between 10 to 20 miles of distance per hour of charge.

Green Mountain Power bought the $7,900 charging units and the state of Vermont paid to get them installed. St. Johnsbury is expecting to see some benefits from the plug-ins. Assistant town manager David Ormiston believes the location of the stations could be good for the economy. "Part of the grant is that they are located in the downtown section of the town, where the economic centers are. It does take a couple of hours to charge a car. They can eat. They can even stay overnight. So it's beneficial to the town as well."

About half of Vermont's electricity stems from renewable energy. Raising the use of electric vehicles in Vermont could help the state obtain it's 90% renewable energy goal. Roberts said, "We are one of the leaders nation wide in electric vehicle adoption, both the charging and the overall use of the vehicles."

Vermont is putting the plug-in stations every couple of driving hours off of Interstate 91. More stations are being installed in downtown Brattleboro and Barre. As of right now, there has been only one person who regularly uses the charging stations in St. Johnsbury.

Currently, 46 charging stations have been installed throughout the state.