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Westport ‘plugs’ plans for solar hub, electric cars

The eastbound terminal of the Saugatuck Railroad Station is having solar panels installed to power charging stations for electric vehicles, which were showcased Saturday at the town’s Electric Vehicle Demo Day. Westport CT 11/17/12 Photo: Jarret Liotta / Westport News contributed

The future of clean energy pulled into the Saugatuck Railroad Station on Saturday as officials “plugged” plans for a new solar-powered transportation hub and showed off electric cars it is designed to serve.

Along with new charging stations for electric cars that will be installed outside the historic eastbound rail depot, solar panels are being built atop the building to generate electricity for the structure and the 20 chargers.

“We’ve been working for three years on this project to put solar panels and 20 charging stations at the train station,” said Leo Cirino, president of the Westport Electric Car Club.

To encourage the purpose and use of electric cars, the town is also offering commuters who currently hold railroad station parking permits special V.I.P. parking spots if they purchase electric cars for their commute.

“That’s a great deal for a commuter,” said First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. “You get a built-in spot here.”

He called the new solar-powered hub “another example of Westport being ahead of the crowd.”

Several car dealers were on hand with models of electric cars.

Greg Taylor, a technician with Miller Motorcars of Greenwich, brought a $110,000 Fisker, which has solar panels built into the roof and an interior largely made from recyclables.

“It’s good for the environment,” he said, “and basically with gas prices going up and up, it’s a good thing to do.”


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