New Haven, Conn., Approves Electric Vehicle Charging Study

The Board of Alders in New Haven, Conn., agreed to a $15,000 study conducted by Avangrid to explore integrating roadside electric vehicle charging stations into the infrastructure of the city.

by Brian Zahn, New Haven Register / March 5, 2019

(TNS) — The New Haven, Conn., Board of Alders Monday authorized Mayor Toni Harp to conduct a $15,000 study on the potential for roadside electric vehicle charging stations with money provided by Avangrid, parent company of The United Illuminating Co.

Doug Hausladen, New Haven’s director of transportation, traffic and parking, said UI approached the city with the business and economic development program to “study the task of deployment” for electronic vehicles.

“Our goal is to deploy EV charging technology in the right of way in 2019 — whether it's for personal private vehicles, shared private vehicles, shared public vehicles, or micro-mobility options,” Hausladen said in an email. “We will need to work through some policy and procurement potentials, which the money will help.”

Currently, the city has 21 charging stations, but all are located in parking garages which charge either an hourly fee, a monthly fee or both. Avangrid recently became an official sponsor of Bike New Haven, the city’s bike-share program, and Hausladen has announced an intention to deploy an electric scooter sharing program by the end of April.

Hausladen said Avangrid officials told him New Haven was ideal for the study because it is “furthest along in thinking through EV,” but electric car sharing programs are not unprecedented either. Hausladen pointed to programs in Sacramento, Indianapolis and Madrid as examples of existing programs. He also mentioned a French electric car sharing program — Autolib — which operated for about six-and-a-half years before the private company closed down in 2018 amid a multimillion-euro debt.

The Sacramento program is funded with money from a $15.3 billion Volkswagen settlement for public and private civil actions following an emissions cheating scheme, according to the Sacramento Business Journal. Hausladen said he has not heard any updates as to whether the city would be receiving any money from the more than $50 million issued to the state.

The Indianapolis Star reported that its car-sharing program, Blue Indy — which is owned by the French Bollore Group that ran Autolib — was heavily criticized for seizing public parking spaces to be used for the rechargable cars.

According to the New Haven Independent, Bike New Haven officials reported last month that the program had more than 3,000 registered users, more than 10,000 rental sessions and more than 15,000 bicycle trips in its first year at a Board of Alders City Services and Environmental Policy committee meeting. About 75 electric scooters will be added to the existing fleet of about 100 bicycles.

©2019 the New Haven Register (New Haven, Conn.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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