Cross-country 'EV Road Trip' leaves from Fairfield
As gas prices skyrocket, two local women are driving across the country in an all-electric car to ease drivers' "range anxiety."
"We are traveling 5,000 miles from Fairfield, Connecticut, to Fairfield, California," said Daphne Dixon, one of the drivers. "To help show that anybody can drive an EV across the country and not worry about charging."
Dixon is the executive director of Live Green, a Norwalk-based environmental charity that is organizing the EV Road Trip. Electrify America, a national network of high-speed superchargers, is sponsoring the trip.
"I never thought I would end up here today, driving across the country," said Dixon's driving partner, Live Green EV Program Manager Alyssa Murphy.
Driving a 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E, Dixon and Murphy are stopping in 15 states and 27 cities, including Washington, D.C.
"And everywhere we stop, we really want to talk to people," said Dixon. "We want to ask them, 'What are your concerns about an EV?'"
An all-electric road trip still requires significant planning. Even in Connecticut, there aren't many EV chargers yet – unless you own a Tesla. But that is starting to change.
The state now offers major incentives to install electric vehicle chargers. You can now get $500 off your power bill to install a charger at home, and businesses can get up to $250,000 for superchargers. Customers must apply through their electric provider.
"Which is great news for EV drivers," said Matt Macunas with the Connecticut Green Bank, a quasi-public corporation that helps customers transition to cleaner energy. "They're going to have more robust network of fast charging around the state."
But there's a snag. Although United Illuminating has already approved several incentives, installations are facing up to six-month delays.
"The challenge is equipment availability," said Marriott Dowden, UI's electric vehicle program manager. "Transformers, switchboards -- the lead time to get this equipment -- as well as EVSE, the chargers themselves. It's holding up a lot of projects."
There are also concerns about whether Connecticut's power grid can handle more than 100,000 cars and buses charging. News 12 will take a closer look at that issue this weekend on "Connecticut Power and Politics."