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Newington Contractor Bets On Electric Cars

NEWINGTON — About three years ago, Ed Ingalls took a gamble on electric cars.

The owner of Newington Electric Co., a well-established electrical contractor, started a new division to install charging stations for electric cars.

“I just had an intuition,” Ingalls said. “I had a good feeling. Chevy Volt and GMC — those guys have to be spending millions of dollars. If they’re doing this, they must know something I don’t know.”

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His new division, CT Electric Car, has so far posted modest sales — about 50 installations so far — but Ingalls is convinced that’s about to change. He sees electric cars about to take off, creating amped up demand for charger stations.
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So on Wednesday, Ingalls went all in, cutting the ribbon on a new 8,000-square-foot headquarters so he can expand CT Electric Car. The headquarters, nearly three times bigger than his current facility, will include a charger showroom and a free car charging station in the parking lot. Ingalls is also planning to add employees.

“It’s very exciting,” Ingalls said. “We’re at the beginning of a new commitment for a new division. As more people buy electric cars, I’m hoping that we will be the go-to installer.”

Also attending the ribbon cutting was state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Daniel Esty, who arrived at the event in his Chevrolet Volt. The Volt, produced by General Motors, is an electric car with a backup gasoline motor.

Esty praised Ingalls’ commitment to expanding his charger business, predicting that he will be rewarded as electric vehicles grow in popularity.

“You have taken a leap in showing that electric cars are something that people should consider,” Esty said. “Let’s make sure that our citizens have a choice.”

Esty praised electric cars as cheaper, costing about $1 for a full charge that takes them 30 or 40 miles, and better for the environment than their gasoline-powered cousins. He outlined a state effort to install more than 200 charging stations statewide, assuring that electric car owners are always within range of a power source.

The system, which will be in place by next spring, will end anxiety about running out of juice, he said.

Also attending the event were state Sen. Paul Doyle, state Rep. Tony Guerrera, and state Rep. Rich Lopes.
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