EVs Take Vermont

In the 21st century, life on the road is changing. Not only is the technology in our vehicles changing, but the engines that power the vehicles themselves are evolving, as we transition toward an era of EVs (electric vehicles). As this technology has become more prevalent, its benefits have been well asserted. This month, officials in the state of Vermont made a point to recognize such benefits.

On September 28, in conjunction with National Plug-In Day, state and local leaders in Vermont assembled in the city of Burlington to announce two new EV initiatives. The first expands a State Infrastructure Bank loan program administered by the Vermont Economic Development Agency. This will allow businesses and municipalities to obtain loans for the construction and installation of EV charging stations at a fixed rate of 1%.

The second provides grants for the construction of a statewide, publically accessible network of EV charging stations within Vermont’s 24 designated downtown areas. In such a network, M2M can come particularly in handy, as it allows payment stations to execute vehicle authentication procedures, process mobile payments, and monitor equipment remotely. M2M can also help drivers monitor their vehicle’s charge level via smartphone app, or even locate the nearest charging station. A network of EV stations, whether in Vermont or elsewhere, is enabled by M2M.

This program was developed by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, www.anr.state.vt.us, and the state’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development, accd.vermont.gov, and will cover 75% of the installation costs.

“Making Vermont downtowns electric vehicle-friendly is just another part of our broader strategy to keep these communities strong and vibrant,” says Vermont 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.”

There is also an environmental motivation for these initiatives, in addition to an economic one. Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce says the state is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint, and these initiatives make it easier and more affordable to finance the infrastructure needed to transition toward cleaner transportation.

The automotive industry certainly appears to be undergoing a gradual shift toward electric and hybrid vehicles. It can definitely be argued that those who recognize that notion now will reap further benefits if and when this technology starts to gain more proverbial traction.

Want to tweet about this article? Use the hashtags #electricvehicles, #automotive

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