Pictured from L to R: Connecticut state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg; Leo Karl III, President of Karl Chevrolet in New Canaan, the sponsor of the station; John Coniglio and David Ritch of Tri-Town Teachers Federal Creidt Union; Steve Smith, Westport Building Official, Leo Cirino, president of the Westport Electric Vehicle Car Club, and Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff.
KARL CHEVROLET AND TRI-TOWN TEACHERS FCU ANNOUNCE THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF A SOLAR-POWERED ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION AT 61 JESUP RD IN WESTPORT, CT, ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21ST AT 5PM.
Tri-Town Teachers Federal Credit Union of Westport and Karl Chevrolet of New Canaan have teamed with the Town of Westport and the State of Connecticut to establish a FREE station for charging up to 2 electric vehicles simultaneously. The station is located at 61 Jesup Road on the site of Tri-Town Teachers Federal Credit Union and the Westport Municipal parking lot off Jesup Rd. The official opening ribbon cutting will be on Thursday, November 21st at 5pm.
The EV charging station at 61 Jesup Road is open to the public, 24 hours a day. Electric vehicles can be charged for FREE, simply by pulling up to the station, plugging in and pushing the blue “Charge Button” on the charging unit. The station is equipped with two chargers using standard 240 volt charging plugs, so two vehicles can be charged simultaneously. The station pedestal also has two 110 volt plugs for vehicles that use 110 volt charging. The power from the sun is expected to provide for up to 250 full EV charges each year.
Tri-Town Teachers FCU is the credit union for the municipal employees of Westport and the Board of Education employees of Westport, Weston and Wilton. “We were created by teachers for teachers back in the 1950’s, when teachers were having a hard time getting loans or mortgages because they were considered ‘part-time workers’” said David Ritch, Manager of the Credit Union. The credit union grew over the years and merged with the Westport Municipal Employees’ credit union in 1978. In 1989, the credit union bought its permanent home at 61 Jesup Road from the town. The town was using it as a storage building. The credit union totally restored the building’s exterior to its original design as the Godillot Carriage House, which was built in 1882 and is on the National Historic Registry.
Steve Smith, a member of the credit union who is the Westport Building Official, an electric car buff and member of the Westport Electric Car Club; recommended that the credit union consider hosting an EV Charging Station. “We were looking for a central location that would complement the EV stations that we have at the Westport Train Station,” Smith said. The credit union’s central location is close to the Westport Library, downtown shopping and many restaurants are within walking distance. “We were intrigued by the idea of taking a building that was originally designed for horses and carriages for transportation and offering EV charging powered by the sun. This promotes a new way of energy-efficient travel that is eco-friendly” said John Coniglio, Assistant Manager and Project Manager for the credit union on this project. “Our credit union has always strived to be eco-friendly by using electronic statements, recycling and being a good member of the community,” Coniglio added. “We decided to bring in Elektron Solar, a Westport Company to help us, John said. “Tony Eason, Elektron Solar’s President recommended that we use eight (8) solar panels on our roof to help power the EV Charging Station.”
In addition, Elektron Solar contacted Leo Karl III, President of Karl Chevrolet of New Canaan, to partner with Tri-Town on this project. Leo, also a member of the Westport Electric Car Club, is an EV enthusiast who drives his Chevy Volt every day and regularly promotes driving electric vehicles. “This Tri-Town Teachers project seemed like a great way to promote the use of eco-friendly vehicles and an excellent way to extend the sustainable energy effort we have undertaken at our New Canaan dealership out into our neighboring communities. Our efforts have included the installation of a solar array on the roof of our showroom, the use of waste oil furnaces in our service departments and many other initiatives. Karl Chevrolet is pleased to be a part of this partnership with Tri-Town Teachers FCU, the Town of Westport and the State to promote free electric vehicle charging in Connecticut,” remarked Leo Karl III.
“Since we are located in an historic district we needed to seek approval from the Historic District Commission in Westport,” John Coniglio related. “The commission members and all our other town contacts were very supportive of the solar project for this adaptive use of our historic building,” John said. “As we were in the planning stages the State of Connecticut announced the Electric Vehicle Charging Station Reimbursement Program. We were selected to receive a $4,000 grant which was very helpful in making this a reality more quickly”, Coniglio mentioned. “This is a great example of private and public entities working together for the common good”.
The Tri-Town Teachers FCU has also announced that it will be offering special EV loan rates for members who buy plug-in electric vehicles. “We are committed to helping our members become more eco-friendly so it is only natural that we should make it easier for our members to buy electric vehicles,” said David Ritch, Manager.
Tri-Town Teachers FCU is a full service financial institution dedicated to serving its members with an array of services, from savings to checking, car loans, mortgages, and credit card services. For more information, please visit their website or by phone at 203.227.8511.
Elektron Solar, based in Westport, CT, is both a Connecticut Certified Installer of Solar Energy solutions (CEFIA) and a National Certified PV Installation Professional (NABCEP). Elektron Solar understands that Solar PV is a major investment and all aspects of any project must be given the respect they deserve. For more information, please visit their website or by phone at 203.557.3127.
Karl Chevrolet, located in New Canaan, CT, opened in 1927 and has been serving the automotive needs of area residents and businesses ever since. A third generation family business, Karl Chevrolet is an active supporter of many sustainable energy initiatives throughout Fairfield County. For more information, please visit their website at www.karldirect.com or call 203.966.9508.
For more information on the WESTPORT ELECTRIC CAR CLUB, please visit their website or call Leo Cirino, Club President at 203.226.0034.