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STUDENTS FROM MIDDLEBURY College and Middlebury Union High School co-created a mural for the high school with Juniper Creative Arts. Photo/Juniper Creative Arts
MONTPELIER — Registration is now open for communities to join the Vermont Mural Project. The Community Engagement Lab, Juniper Creative Arts and the Vermont Folklife Center are partners on the statewide project, which features a collaborative mural-making process to guide communities to build vision statements and action plans that address the social and environmental justice issues they care about. The project will bring together community teams of young people, educators and community members to work alongside teaching artists, muralists and local social and environmental justice partners...

NIAL V. RELE
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) welcomed Vergennes resident Nial V. Rele as their new executive director in February. Rele is a native of India and first moved to Vermont to attend Middlebury College as an international student. At Middlebury, he studied environmental policy and Chinese and went on to receive a master’s in Education from Harvard University. Prior to joining the VEEP team, Nial served in various higher education administration roles at colleges across the U.S. and moved back to Vermont in 2017. “The board and staff are delighted and honored to have...

WEYBRIDGE RESIDENTS FRAN and Spence Putnam have driven all-electric or hybrid-electric vehicles for years and enthusiastically recommend them to others because they pollute less, are quieter, and require less maintenance than their gas- and diesel-powered counterparts. Independent photo/Megan James
ADDISON COUNTY — If you took the $174 billion President Joe Biden has proposed spending on electric vehicles (EVs) over the next decade and split it evenly according to population, Vermont’s share would come to something like $330 million. Of course, that’s not how it works, and for now President Biden’s proposal is just that — a proposal. But it’s not hard to imagine the impact significant federal funding for EVs could have in Vermont, which already boasts more EV charging stations per capita than any other state, ranks seventh in the nation for electric vehicle policy and has gotten this...
Addison Independent Reporter Christopher Ross this week looked deep into the world of Electric Vehicles, or EVs. Learn more about the state of the industry, where it’s headed, and what it means to you. Click on the stories below to read all about EVs. • Has the electric vehicle era finally arrived? • What’s the deal with electric vehicles? • Car dealerships see bright future for EVs • EV growth depends on charging infrastructure • Taking the Electric Vehicle plunge: pros and cons • Fleets and public transportation going electric • Public EV charging stations in Addison County • Video: How to...

Courtesy of Drive Electric Vermont
VERMONT — Recent proposals by President Biden and Gov. Scott have included significant funding for electric vehicles and associated charging infrastructure, which they hope will hasten a transition away from gasoline-powered vehicles and their devastating effects on the climate. Funding efforts to reduce consumer costs and increase driving convenience will go a long way toward bringing this transition about, but many experts have said that one of the biggest challenges will be getting the word out to consumers about the benefits — to themselves and to the planet — of switching from gas to...

The number of public EV charging stations is growing. Here is one with a solar array in the Marble Works neighborhood of Middlebury. Independent photo/John S. McCright
BRISTOL — The town of Bristol has been trying to secure funding for a public electric vehicle (EV) charging station for a couple of years, but the cards just haven’t fallen into place, officials said. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t helped, of course. But thanks to the work of the Bristol Energy Committee, things might just be looking up. “I just had a good meeting this week with folks who are going to help us secure the funding,” committee chair Sally Burrell told the Independent earlier this month. “I think we’re on the right track now. We have the site chosen (West Street, along the park) and...

EMPLOYEES FROM NORTHEAST I.S. LLC stand with the fleet of four Chevy Bolt electric vehicles the New York company purchased from Alderman’s Chevrolet Buick GMC in Rutland in February. Alderman’s General Manager Mark Alderman committed to EVs early on, he said, and the dealer has now become one of the biggest sellers of Chevrolet EVs in the nation. Photo courtesy Alderman’s Chevrolet
RUTLAND / MIDDLEBURY — Mark Alderman believes we might be approaching a tipping point with electric vehicles (EVs). “EVs will become more and more common until they’re normal, and then it’ll be the ICE (internal combustion engine) cars that stick out,” said Alderman, who is general manager of Alderman’s Chevrolet Buick GMC, one of the biggest sellers of Chevrolet EVs in New England. EVs currently make up nearly 20% of new car sales at the Rutland dealership. But this didn’t happen by accident. “At the foundation of all this is that I think EVs are cool,” Alderman said. “The technology is far...

NEW HAVEN RESIDENTS Taborri and Susan Bruhl, along with their two daughters, have had a total of nine Nissan Leaf electric vehicles over the past eight years, including the three pictured here. They installed charging stations and increased their solar capacity to “fuel” them. Photo courtesy Taborri Bruhl
ADDISON COUNTY — Taborri Bruhl and his family in New Haven know a few things about electric vehicles (EVs). “My wife, Susan, and I have driven EVs since 2013, when we leased two Nissan Leafs,” Bruhl told the Independent. “We loved the cars, and when the leases were up we turned them in and leased two more in 2015, and then two more again in 2018, and then my wife just traded that one in for a 2021 Leaf.” Counting their two daughters, who are also leasing them, the family has had a total of nine Leafs over the years, Bruhl said. And each model has been better than the one before. Susan’s...

ELECTRIC AND HYBRID vehicles are making their way into public and commercial fleets. Middlebury police last month put its first hybrid police cruiser into action. A second hybrid police cruiser is on order.
VERMONT — More than three-quarters of U.S. fleet managers for local and state governments, utilities, universities, private technology companies and delivery services have begun to electrify their vehicle fleets, according to a new report by the Rocky Mountain Institute, as reported on utilitydive.com. “Fleets make up about 3% of all vehicles registered in the United States but can ‘have outsized influence on the successful electrification of the entire transportation sector,’ according to the report,” Utility Dive said. Fleet-electrification efforts are just getting under way around Vermont...

Addison County charging stations
Public EV charging stations in Addison County Ferrisburgh DR Power Equipment, 75 Meigs Road, just outside Vergennes Basin Harbor, 4800 Basin Harbor Road   Middlebury Addison County Regional Planning, 14 Seminary St. 121 Cady Road (3) 476 Foote Street (2) Marble Works, 137 Maple St. Marble Works Partnership, 228 Maple St. Middlebury College, 33 Hillcrest Road Mill Street parking lot Porter Medical Center, off South Street Swift House Inn, 25 Stewart Lane   New Haven Town Office   Panton Park & Ride, 3176 Jersey St.   Starksboro Town Office, 2827 Route 116

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Addison County Independent