Boucher Revved up about National Drive Electric Week

September 19, 2014

Hartford, CT – State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) joined fellow legislators in Hartford this week to talk electric car technology. The forum and events were coordinated by the State Department of Energy and the Environment (DEEP) along with car dealerships from around the state as part of National Drive Electric Week.

“Connecticut has been on the forefront of this technology paving the way for the rest of New England and arguably the country,” said Sen. Boucher. “What better place than Connecticut. As early as the colonial days the state has been known as the innovation state.”

All-electric vehicles (often referred to as electric vehicles or EVs) are powered by fuel cells or plugging in to the grid, storing the electricity in batteries, and are powered by electric motors. Plug- in hybrid electric vehicles have both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. These cars, driven in the electric mode, have no tailpipe emissions.

The DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee and Connecticut Automotive Retailers
Association President James Fleming also presented the first ever 2014 Connecticut
Revolutionary Dealer Awards to the dealers who sold or leased the most EVs. One of the winners is from the 26th district town of Westport.

The sales and leases included plug-in hybrids – from February 1 – July 31, 2014. The award winners were New Country Toyota of Westport and A1 Toyota of New Haven.

“As Ranking Member of the Transportation Committee and a Fairfield county resident, I am acutely aware of our transportation issues and the worsening air pollution from various vehicles. I am very proud that so many of our towns, not just Westport have embraced this technology and installed charging stations in town hall parking lots, library parking lots and business complexes,” added Boucher.

DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee and Michael Lynch – Chairman of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association remarked during the forum that incredible progress has been made as more and more consumers are choosing plug-in electric vehicles (EVs). In fact the Federal Department of Energy estimates the average cost of fuel for an electric car is $1.70 per gallon equivalent to the average $3.58 gallon of gas.

The group even discussed what government can do on the local and state level to encourage education of this technology to the consumer.

Some of the recommendations included:

  • Reducing the state excise tax
  • Offering free parking for electric car drivers
  • Build more charging stations in both public and private lots (around the state 240 exist)
  • Offer consumer rebates
  • Encourage dealers to come up with technology that extends the life of the electric car battery

After the forum guests were allowed to take a free test drive in some of the latest model EVs such as the Mercedes Benz B-class, BMW i3, Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, Ford Fusion Energi,
Toyota Prius Plug-in.

For more information on electric car technology visit the DEEP website at