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Norwich Public Utilities to offer rebates for electric vehicles, charging stations

August 29, 2018

Norwich — Norwich Public Utilities will launch a rebate program for customers who purchase electric vehicles and charging stations starting in mid-September, with the kick-off to be held at a Ride & Drive event Sept. 15 at the Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium.

Jeanne Kurasz, program coordinator for NPU, presented an overview of the program for the Board of Public Utilities Commissioners on Tuesday. The program will be launched Sept. 15 during the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce Healthy Living Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 15 at Dodd Stadium. Electric vehicles will be available to test drive or ride at the festival, Kurasz said.

The rebate program will offer 1,000 for an all-electric-powered vehicle and 500 for an all-electric used vehicle, model year 2016 or better.

“A lot of these vehicles are leases,” Kurasz said, “and used cars are becoming available.”

As technology for electric cars improves, more types of models also are becoming available, ranging from small compacts to SUVs and minivans, she said, but not yet pickup trucks. Kurasz said 40 models of vehicles currently are available, and that is expected to rise to 70 in five years.

The rebate also would apply to the purchase of charging stations. A 1,500 rebate for installing a station for employees or residents of the complex. Businesses that purchase a commercial unit open to the public — as is the existing unit at Illiano’s Restaurant in Norwich — will receive a 500 rebate given out could generate as much as 2.8 million per year, which also would add $280,000 to the revenue turned over to the city each year, Kurasz said.

For the customer, electric vehicles have become more economical and efficient, with improved batteries allowing longer drives between charges.

The utilities commission did not vote on the new program Tuesday but Chairwoman Grace Jones called it “exciting” and was pleased with how far the proposal has progressed.

“I could be wrong but I think this is going to take off,” board Vice Chairman Stewart Peil said.

c.bessette@theday.com

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