Connecticut Light & Power Prepares for Electric Cars
Supporters of electric vehicles frequently discuss a not-too-distant future when plug-in cars become ubiquitous, with millions being driven by their owners on a daily basis.
However, many supporters fail to note that electric car owners will have to plug in their vehicle nearly every night for recharging purposes. Although an electric car is far better for the environment than a traditional oil-burning vehicle, the mass amount of electricity necessary to charge the vast array of vehicles is something utilities must prepare for.
With fewer than 100,000 plug-in cars in the United States, the effect of such a power drain on the electrical grid could be enormous as the vehicles continue to gain popularity. The overloading of transformers and other infrastructure could lead to local brownouts or worse. To prepare for the increase in electric car sales, researchers at utility companies and other electrical engineers are looking for ways to soften the blow.
A utility company that is jumping on this concept is Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P). As the use of electric vehicles continues to grow across the country, CL&P is giving customers a new place to turn to find out more about the cars. The company has opened a new information center at its call center in Windsor to help customers understand electric vehicle technology and to ask questions.
“We’re excited about the launch of our new electric vehicle information hotline to offer customers expert service, information and guidance about electric vehicles and vehicle charging options,” said Penni Conner, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Northeast Utilities, CL&P’s parent company. “CL&P is providing a single point of contact for our customers and communities, making it easy for them to find the answers they need to make informed decisions about electric vehicles.”
As interest in electric vehicles grows, so does the need for accurate and up-to-date information. Through CL&P, customers will be able to access information and advice about vehicles and related equipment, payment options, optimal placement of charging equipment, and best industry practices.
The information center will also provide cost estimates for operating and charging electric vehicles and offer referrals to other companies for additional information.
CL&P’s electric vehicle information center hotline, 855-INFO4EV (463-6438), is staffed by a team of specialists Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The company also created a website where customers can access a variety of information, tools and resources: cl-p.plugmyride.org