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New London charging into the future

New London — Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio and the state deputy commissioner of energy and environmental protection flipped the switch on a new era Friday during a dedication ceremony for the city’s new electric-vehicle charging stations.

“This marks another step … in making New London the environmental leader in the state of Connecticut,” Finizio said at a charging station outside the Water Street Parking Garage.

Deputy Commissioner Macky McCleary said new charging stations being installed around the state are reducing the public’s “range anxiety” — a fear by drivers of electric vehicles that they will run out of power before they can find a place to plug in. Within the next year, he said, the aim is to ensure that there is no place in Connecticut that is more than 20 minutes away from a charging station.

“We’re kicking open the door to the future we promised ourselves decades and decades ago,” McCleary said on a bright, sunny day, battling to speak through train horn blasts coming from nearby Union Station. “The time is now. Welcome to the future.”

Alex Kragie, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s deputy chief of staff, said Connecticut’s goal is to be the first state in the nation to move from range anxiety into range confidence. “We’re making tremendous progress on the buildout,” he said.

The Water Street garage has two “quad unit” charging stations marked as Juice Bars, one inside the facility and another outside. Each unit has two Level 2 chargers, suitable for completing a charge in two hours, and two Level 1 chargers for overnight repowering.

Tolland-based Garage Juice Bars is the supplier of the machines. They were funded with a state grant and money from the city Parking Commission.
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