The state’s three biggest electric utilities are proposing to create a dozen fast-charging stations for electric vehicles along interstates in New Hampshire, using money from the Volkswagen emissions-rigging settlement to create the state’s first such network open to cars other than Tesla.
“What we’re going to propose is to electrify the tourism corridors – interstates 93, 89, 95 – so that individuals who own electric vehicles have a place to recharge, aren’t waiting 8 hours to charge a vehicle, but 15 minutes in and out,” said Bill Quinlan, president of Eversource New Hampshire operations during a discussion Thursday morning during a Concord Chamber of Commerce forum on energy.
The proposal from Eversource, Liberty Utilities and Unitil will be unveiled in the next month or so as part of the state’s Environmental Mitigation Plan.
Details, including the exact locations, number of charging stations at each stop as well as their electrical output, are being worked out. A presentation by Eversource showed 12 possible locations. The closest to Concord are at the Hooksett tolls, where Tesla has a Supercharger, at the intersection of I-89 and Rt. 202 in Hopkinton, and at the I-93 exit in Tilton.
As discussed Thursday, the program would be a public-private partnership using $1.9 million of the state’s settlement from VW to buy the fast chargers. Eversource would pay to hook them into the power grid, recouping the cost from increased sales of electricity, while the operation of the stations would be done by a private firm that wins the bid.
Public charging stations are designed to quell “range anxiety,” the fear a car will run out of power with nowhere to charge up. Even though roughly a dozen models of electric car are now sold that can travel further than 200 miles on a single charge and the vast majority of car charging is done at home or at work rather than at the electricity equivalent of gas stations, range anxiety is seen as one of the major obstacles keeping people from buying an electric car.
Public charging stations can also lure tourists with electric vehicles, a point made several times by Quinlan.
Because electric motors are more efficient than internal-combustion engines and because it is easier to clean up the sources of electricity than the tailpipes of millions of vehicles, electrifying cars and trucks is seen as an important part of fighting climate change.
“Regions that are serious about driving down carbon emissions are transforming their transportation sector, that’s where the majority of emissions come from today. … Here in New England you’re starting to see states like Massachusetts and Connecticut making very significant investments in electrifying their transportation sector,” Quinlan told the Concord chamber.
The money for the charging stations comes from the state’s portion of a $15 billion settlement of a lawsuit by the U.S. government against Volkswagen for rigging its diesel vehicle’s computers to cheat emissions tests and downplay emissions of nitrogen oxide. The settlement is distributed to states based on the number of vehicles affected; New Hampshire is receiving $31 million.
As previously announced, $4.6 million of the state’s money will build charging infrastructure for electric vehicles; $15.5 million will go toward replacing diesel-powered vehicles owned by state and local governments, including school buses, with newer diesel or alternative-fuel vehicles; $6.2 million will be up for bids from public or private groups that have proposals for ways to spend it that will meet the program’s goals of reducing the state’s air pollution caused by vehicles; and $4.6 million has been earmarked for administrative costs.
Typo “see states like Massachusetts and Connecting “
Darn you, auto-correct! Darn me, poor self-proofreader!
Good news. Thanks for the article. The “15 minutes in and out” statement is a bit unrealistic in most cases, though. With more and more high battery capacity EVs on the road, the median session will likely be over 30 minutes.
Indeed it is, from what I’ve read. But we’ll see what they actually install.
Tesla’s are most often 15-25 minutes. A Tesla Model 3 with 50k miles in one year averaged 22 minutes for their supercharging sessions.
Did Eversource’s slides show Electrify America’s plans for NH?
In their phase 2 of deployment starting late in 2019 they are supposed to link Boston to Montreal. This would include one or two sites on I-93 and/or I-89 in New Hampshire.
No, it was strictly their own plans.
I think the answer is a qualified “yes” but do all electric cars have a… universal… plug? Or do Tesla’s need a Tesla station and a xyz car need an xyz station? (Which I think is a qualified “no.”) So… do charging stations have adaptors for various cars?
This will benefit out-of-state drivers more than New Hampshire drivers. We are the only Northeast state (north of Virginia) that is not a member of the zero emissions consortium following California Air Resources Board emissions rules. As a result most of the EV manufacturers will not see EVs here in New Hampshire because we are not a zero emissions state.
Yes, you can buy Tesla, Nissan, and Chevrolet EVs, but not a Kira, Hyundai, or other smaller volume manufacturer because their entire EV line is committed to dealers in those zero emissions states.
If New Hampshire were to adopt CARB rules, joining California, DC, and a dozen, New Hampshire consumers would have more choice and more opportunity to purchase and drive an EV.
Then these charging stations could benefit us as well.
it is true that mostly out-of-staters will be using these stations for the foreseeable future. However, it’s the same for all those Irving pumps at rest areas like those in Hooksett.
At least NH will be able to attract tourist dollars from EV drivers.
I am in favor of the CARB rules, but I don’t see them being implemented here due to “Live Free or Die.”
I’m hoping they’ll install one in Conway, North Conway so when I’m up hiking or skiing there is a place to charge. If they don’t install them in destination areas I’ll start going where they do install them and spend my money there. I’m sure other EV drivers feel the same way. I live in MA but spend money in NH while getting outdoors. Most chargers in that area are at hotels and only for clients.
Come to the Science Cafe NH in Concord on Wednesday, Sept. 25 – we’ll be talking about this very issue.
I am also a regular camper and hiker who comes to visit the Whites from out of state. Right now Lincoln gets most of my business (particularly the restaurants) whenever I stop in to charge my car. I would love for North Conway to have some better charging options!
How will we expect to see ample charging stations on our interstates with the proposed allocations, including 4.6 million for administrative costs? Are you kidding me? Who are these administrators and could they not function for less? Also I am quite certain that the 6.2 million intended for public or private bidding, has already been spoken for privately.
We need to commit our thinking to our overall environment and maximize the number of charging stations strategically placed in the state, while minimizing the greed of self centered agendas.
Has anyone heard where this project currently stands?