NORWICH — After a unanimous vote by City of Norwich Common Council members in June of 2022, electric vehicle (EV) chargers have finally been installed in four locations in the City of Norwich.
The chargers have been provided by Greenspot, a New Jersey-based company who will be responsible for all maintenance and repairs on the units. Greenspot also had the units installed at no cost to the city, and will be giving the city ten percent of the gross revenue earned from the chargers.
Charging stations are located in the Hayes Street parking lot, Red Roof Inn parking lot, East Main Street parking lot, and the City of Norwich Fire Department parking lot at 31 East Main Street. Each location has two chargers, and all locations are up and running except for the Red Roof Inn chargers.
"Right now we still have one that doesn’t have power yet, and that's the one behind [Red Roof], because we’re waiting for NYSEG to put a pole in before they can finish what they have to do. So the other three are up and running," said MCM Solutions Owner Frank Maiurano.
MCM Solutions was hired on by Greenspot to install the EV chargers — a project that's nothing new to the electrical construction company.
"We do this all over the northeast. We’ve been doing electric car chargers going on close to ten years now, actually, is when we did our first one. We do a lot of work for Tesla all over the northeast," said Maiurano. "I’ve done every Tesla building in the State of New York, Pennsylvania. If you see one of those superchargers built, MCM has built them, and these are the ones that are along the interstates, the highways. The big ones."
The chargers in Norwich are known as "level two" chargers, meaning they have the power to fully charge an electric vehicle within six to eight hours. Maiurano said level twos are ideal for overnight charging, and he anticipates the chargers in the Red Roof Inn and Hayes Street lots will be the most used.
"The most ideal spots for these are going to be hotels, apartment complexes, where people need the overnight charging," he explained. "Even when the future hotel comes, the one they're supposed to be building behind Nina’s, that’ll be of good use there because then people can pull in when they come into town, pull in and charge while they're sleeping overnight, and then they wake up and you’ve got 3, 400 miles to a charge, and you can plug it in for the full six to eight hours while you do that."
However, should the charging stations get enough business, Greenspot will also switch out the units for level three chargers, which can fully charge an electric vehicle in as little as 30 minutes.
"This company said they would go up to a level three, which would be a 30-minute charge, if there is enough business," said City of Norwich Mayor Brian Doliver.
"Right now I think it’s a nice thing and it’s maybe a touristy thing, because I don’t foresee local people using it perhaps, but I foresee people that are coming through maybe, traveling, if they're stopping, plugging in. While they’re waiting they’ll do some shopping, maybe go out to eat," he added. "Those people that are perhaps near a place of work, they could plug in during the day. So that is an option as well."
Doliver said the idea to bring EV chargers to Norwich actually came from former City of Norwich Mayor Shawn Sastri, who had looked into a company called Livingston to install the chargers. However, Doliver said the city ended up turning down their offer as they would have to pay for software updates as they were needed.
So plans were put on hold while they followed the advice of Sherburne Mayor Bill Acee, who advised Doliver to wait for the right deal.
"Sometimes the deals just get better if you wait a little bit. I remember talking to Mayor Bill Acee in Sherburne, because they have them up there, and he said ‘don’t settle on the first one.’ and he was right," said Doliver. "Just shop around, he said, because everyone has a different deal. And we could not find anything wrong with this deal. We had no maintenance, and software upgrades were free. Everything was free, and we got ten percent."
MCM Solutions was also included in the plans the first time around, and Maiurano said it was nice to see the project come full circle.
"I worked for quite a while on that project. We did some meetings and went to the council meetings and stuff, and there was actually a writeup about that, oh my god it’s probably been over two years ago that it was going to happen. And then it kind of puttered out and nothing happened with it," he said. "So when I just randomly got a call from Greenspot it was kind of like full circle to see it come back to me, and that was nice."