Burlington, VT (PRWEB) September 28, 2013
In conjunction with National Plug-In Day to raise awareness of electric vehicles, state and local leaders gathered today on Church Street in Burlington to show off the latest models and announce new resources for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations.
Two new initiatives to support electric vehicles in Vermont were announced today. The first initiative expands the State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) loan program administered by the Vermont Economic Development Agency (VEDA). This initiative was spearheaded by a local investment working group including State Treasurer Beth Pearce, VEDA Executive Director Jo Bradley, VEIC Transportation Director Karen Glitman, Representative Diane Lanpher, and community and business leaders.
The second initiative, developed by the Agency of Natural Resources and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, provides financial resources for electric vehicle charging stations in Vermont’s designated downtowns.
“Making Vermont downtowns electric vehicle-friendly is just another part of our broader strategy to keep these communities strong and vibrant,” said Governor Peter Shumlin. “This effort will create opportunities for drivers of electric vehicles to shop, eat, work – and charge their cars – in Vermont’s downtowns.” Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz added, “Providing charging opportunities in places people visit will encourage electric vehicle use, improving our air quality and combating climate change.”
“The transportation sector is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in Vermont,” said Treasurer Pearce. “Our state has ambitious goals to reduce our carbon footprint, and with today’s announcement, it will be easier and more affordable for communities across the state to finance the infrastructure needed to make the transition to cleaner forms of transportation.”
According to the most recent state data, the adoption of electric vehicles in Vermont is increasing rapidly. As of July 31, there were nearly 300 electric vehicles registered in over 100 Vermont cities and towns from one corner of the state to the other.
“With more electric vehicles on our roads, members of the legislature recognize that in order to meet the State’s energy goals we need to work together to find solutions,” said Addison-3 Representative Diane Lanpher, a member of the House Transportation Committee. “These new programs give municipalities a workable framework to bring the economic benefit of electric vehicle charging stations to Vermont’s cities and towns.”
Under the SIB program, municipalities and businesses can obtain loans for the construction and installation of EV charging stations at a fixed interest rate of 1%. According to VEDA Chief Operating Officer Steve Greenfield, “Eligibility requirements for State Infrastructure Bank financing have been expanded to include certain public-use electric vehicle charging stations and natural gas refueling stations. We’re excited about this new development, and look forward to receiving applications for this type of financing.”
The second program, jointly developed by the Agency of Natural Resources and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, provides matching grants to build a statewide network of municipal publicly accessible charging stations within Vermont’s 24 Designated Downtowns. The program will fund 75% of the cost of installing electric vehicle charging stations in eligible areas.
“Transportation is one of our biggest climate challenges and one of our biggest opportunities,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “Burlington is investing in infrastructure to support electric vehicles, including the purchase of an increasing number of hybrid and electric vehicles and the state’s first hybrid electric bucket truck. Today’s announcement is welcome news for building the partnership between the state and local communities to support electric vehicles.”
“Vermonters are increasingly choosing to make their next car an electric one,” said Karen Glitman, Director of Transportation Efficiency at Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. “There is a growing recognition that electric vehicles are a great option for many Vermont drivers for providing affordable, safe, reliable, and clean transportation.”
To learn more about the VEDA financing program, visit the “State Infrastructure Bank” page at http://www.veda.org, or call 802-828-JOBS to speak with one of VEDA’s experienced loan officers. Information about the program for charging stations in designated downtowns is available from Leanne Tingay, Vermont Downtown Program Coordinator, by calling (802) 828-3220.
To learn more about electric vehicles in Vermont, including a map of state charging stations and much more, visit Drive Electric Vermont’s web site: http://www.driveelectricvt.com.
Drive Electric Vermont is a project of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation in partnership with the State of Vermont, Project Get Ready, and a broad array of stakeholders advancing EV technology.