Mayor puts in a plug for new charging station

By Brenda Maguire

BRISTOL — As Mayor Art Ward got behind the wheel of a Nissan Leaf he took awhile to get acclimated. He wasn’t sure if the car was on, because it was virtually silent, and he needed a minute to get the car into reverse once it was on.

But, all in all, he enjoyed the test drive.

“It’s real easy. The ride was very comfortable and smooth,” Ward said. “It’s something for the future. Actually, the future is today.”

The future did in fact come to Crowley Nissan on Monday as the dealership unveiled three new electric car charging stations, becoming one of a growing number of locations in Central Connecticut offering the stations.

Ken Crowley, CEO of Crowley Nissan, will be selling the Leaf, which is a fully electric vehicle, no emissions included.

The Leaf is selling for about $27,700 and gets 96 miles from a full charge.

It’s not required by Nissan to sell the Leaf, but Crowley felt it was important to support the green movement.

“You can’t handle the car without the stations, obviously,” Crowley said. “The stations are required.”

The stations will be available to customers when they’re having car service done and will also be used for the dealership’s vehicles.

Crowley Nissan worked together with Control Module Inc., located in Enfield, to acquire the charging stations. James Bianco, CEO of Control Module, provided the Leaf, which belongs to his company, to use for demonstrating the charging stations and for the test drive Monday.

A curbside charger is located at the front of the dealership on Farmington Avenue. This type of freestanding station can have either one, two or four chargers. What sets this curbside charger apart from similar ones is that it has cable retraction capabilities, which will ensure that the cord will never be left on the ground or in the snow.

The other two chargers are located in the service area of the dealership. The valet charger is hung on a wall mount and simply plugs into the closest outlet. This way, it is portable and can be moved to any spot in the service area.

The last is a wall mount charger, which has all of the same functions as the curbside charger but is mounted to a wall rather than having its own freestanding design.

Recently, similar charging stations have been installed at E.C. Goodwin Technical High School in New Britain and the General Electric facility in Plainville. The Connecticut Electric Car division of Newington Electric Co. also recently installed a charging station at Blue Back Square in West Hartford.

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