Deal Signed to Help Bring Electric Cars to Connecticut Roads

September 30, 2010

The State of Connecticut, Northeast Utilities, and Nissan signed a collaborative agreement at a ceremony at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford on September 29 that will help automakers sell all-electric cars starting next year.

Under the deal, the state agrees to consider sales tax breaks, parking discounts, and perhaps exemptions from some traffic laws for electric car buyers. Northeast Utilities and Nissan pledge to help establish a network of battery-charging stations throughout the state.

"The market is ready for us," said Tracy Woodard, director of government affairs for Nissan North America. Nissan has taken 25,000 pre-orders worldwide for the company’s all-electric LEAF model, Woodward said, and expects to deliver about 50,000 in 2011 before ramping up production in 2012.

"We're not just spectators or back-seat passengers," Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell said. "This will drive our economy in new directions, and now is the time to start thinking in new directions—green jobs, a green curriculum in the schools."

Ultimately, all electric vehicle manufacturers, not just Nissan, should benefit from the September 29 agreement. Rell wants the state to be home to at least 20,000 electric cars by 2020. For more information about the agreement, read the governor’s press release.

Earlier in the month, the governor signed an executive order to prepare the state for adopting electric vehicles. The order was based on findings of the Governor’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council, which issued a final report in early September. You can find a link to this report and the executive order on the Connecticut Department of Utility Control Web site.