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  • Wade Ortel

EV Charging for the Masses

An oft cited reason against the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) levied by individual consumers centers around charging and range capabilities. Electric vehicles cannot travel as far as their internal combustion powered counterparts between refueling or recharging events. Further, the speed at which charging occurs is typically significantly lower than operating a gas pump.


Block Island is a perfect location for the early adoption of renewable transportation technologies due to the geographically bounded travel requirements. Additionally, to incentivize the adoption of electric vehicles on Block Island, the Solar Initiative (tSI) has offered significant subsidization of the purchase or lease of EVs by island residents. However, even accounting for these factors, range anxiety remains an ongoing concern among prospective EV drivers.


While a significant advancement in battery technology offers the most conspicuous and direct means towards achieving mass practicality and, therefore, adoption of EVs, it is important to realize that there is another equally crucial element of this puzzle: charging infrastructure. A critical factor in the successful adoption of electric vehicles is ensuring that consumers have easy access to robust and reliable charging infrastructure. While public fast charging is, perhaps, the most important area to concentrate efforts on, both in terms of technological and fiscal resources, at-home charging options are also a powerful tool in the advocation for the practicality of EVs.


Addressing this worry will go a long way towards alleviating consumer hesitancy while also providing reassurance for those who already drive an EV. Due to the present lack of public-facing charging infrastructure present on Block Island, consumers must charge their vehicles at home. This is customarily done by connecting to a standard 120 V outlet, known as level 1 charging. This option is convenient, in the sense that no additional equipment is required, long charge times can significantly reduce practicality. Happily, another option exists for those wishing to attain a much higher charging rate at home. Level 2 chargers connect to a 240 / 208 V circuit, thereby offering appreciably greater power delivery capabilities than a 120 V one, allowing for comparatively speedy battery charging. To learn more about the particulars of electric vehicle charging levels, standards and options, please click here.


In pursuit of the swift and seamless adoption of EVs, tSI is excited to announce a new subsidy aimed to encourage the obtainment of level 2 electric vehicle chargers for installation and use at homes on Block Island. The program, taking the form of a rebate, covers 100% of the charger’s purchase price, up to a maximum of $400. This program is limited to the first ten respondents, so act now. Additional restrictions apply.


For additional terms and information regarding this subsidy or our other programs, please contact Cindy Davis at cindy@thesolarinitiativebi.org

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Last October I accepted the position as program director of the Solar Initiative (tSI). I have had the pleasure of working with a wide array of individuals, making strides towards the common goal of r