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Big Charger Installation Underway in Westport

Update: 4/27/23

The installation of 12 chargers is complete, including Eversource installing transformers and the town wiring them to the charging units. They have not yet been turned on. We await word from the Town when that will be and if there will be a fee to use them.

Baldwin Parking Lot to Host EV Chargers

The photo shows several JuiceBar Level 2 chargers being installed in the Town owned Baldwin Lot in downtown Westport. According to CT-based manufacturer, JuiceBar, they have been commissioned to install 12 of these units. The Town of Westport advises that they have also installed all the necessary conduits, circuitry, etc. to accommodate an additional 12 units, the timing for which is to be determined. The Town also advises that all going forward planning for parking now includes EV charging.

From the Town’s perspective, the installation is complete. What remains is for Eversource to do its part – pulling in the primary service cables, setting the new transformer, and wiring it to their side of the electric meter so the distribution panels will become energized. Eversource has not given a specific date. The Town estimates 4-6 weeks.

These are 80 amp units, which is as powerful as it gets for a 240 volt, Level 2 charger. Most level 2 public chargers are 30 or 40 amps. Where that matters is charging speed for vehicles that can take advantage of it. A vehicle’s onboard charger converts the AC current to DC and controls the flow of energy. It takes an onboard charger of 19.5 kW to fully utilize this level of power, which will deliver over 80 miles of range per hour of charge. If your vehicle’s onboard charger is lower than 19.5 kW, and most are, it simply means the rate of charge will be slower. It will not damage the battery. It is forward-looking that a unit with this amount of power is being installed. The capacity of onboard chargers is steadily increasing as battery technology improves.

To be clear, these are not Level 3 DC fast chargers. These chargers are located in a lot where vehicles are typically parked for an hour or two as there are numerous stores and restaurants in the immediate area. But now that hour or two can bring with it a substantial amount of charge, as opposed to the relatively token amount of mileage on many of the low-powered units that are out there.

These units have J1772 connectors.

The charging may be free when the units are first fired up. The town has provided free charging at its other EV chargers (library, Town Hall, both Metro-North depots, Staples). That will change. When and how much has not yet been decided.