Free EV charging offered for Stratford’s Dock shopping center

STRATFORD — Owners of electric vehicles may soon be able to charge their battery-powered cars for free at the Dock Shopping Center.

Volta Charging, a San Francisco-based company with more than 2,000 charging stations across the country, is seeking city approval to install four stations at the waterfront complex, according to an application submitted to the Stratford Zoning Commission.

“The applicant is proposing to lease space at the Dock Mall to install four electric vehicle charging stations, two near the BJ location at 955 Ferry Blvd. and two near the Stop & Shop location at 200 E. Main Street. wrote Barry Knott, a lawyer for Volta, in the request.

Like most of Volta’s publicly accessible charging stations, the stations would be free to customers, at least for the first two hours of the charging session, according to the company’s online station directory.

The app says each station would feature digital LED screens showing advertisements to vehicle owners and passing shoppers – a key tool Volta uses to generate revenue.

“Digital advertising screens featured on Volta charging stations can generate media revenue immediately after installation, allowing Volta to offset development and construction costs for charging partners,” a company spokesperson said. in a press release.

As the popularity of electric vehicles grows, so does the number of stations dedicated to charging them. According to the US Department of Energy, there are now nearly 500 public charging stations in Connecticut, including a handful in Stratford Square.

Volta itself currently operates 43 stations in the state, but none in Stratford. The nearest free Volta stations, each with 55-inch screens, are in Fairfield and Milford.

Since its inception in 2010, the company claims to have provided enough energy to generate 124 million electric kilometers and avoid 30,000 tons of CO2 emissions that would otherwise have been created by gasoline-powered vehicles.

In addition to seeking permission to install the four stations at the Dock Mall, Volta is also asking the zoning commission to rewrite the city’s zoning rules to allow kiosks to be recharged with digital displays. Existing rules currently prohibit electronic messages on the signs.

The zoning commission is due to consider Volta’s proposal at its next meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28.

Richard Chumney can be reached at [email protected]