Thursday, August 27, 2020, is a historic day for Rhode Island, and all those who embrace sustainability and green energy, as it marks a decade from when the very first electric vehicle (EV) charging station was installed and put into use in the Ocean State. It all happened on Friday, August 27, 2010, in the parking lot of Cardi’s Furniture and Mattresses located at 1681 Quaker Lane, West Warwick. Dignitaries and community leaders from around the area were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and to flip the switch on the charging station to witness the very first EV to be charged in the state at a public charging station.
This initiative, brought forth to inspire the state of Rhode Island and others to embrace the future of EVs and green energy, was born out of the partnership of two Rhode Island business icons: Arpin Group, a world leader in logistics and moving, and Cardi’s Furniture and Mattresses, a national leader in home and business furniture sales. Peter Arpin, along with the Cardi brothers, Nick, Ron, and Pete, had already understood the benefits of sustainability, but also knew it was important to help educate and inspire the public to take action and embrace a clean green future. To achieve their goal, they choose to install an EV charging station as it had yet to be done in Rhode Island. As an added perk for the residents of Rhode Island and out-of-state travelers, they also decided to make the charging service free to the public.
When asked if they achieved their goal of inspiring and educating the public on clean green energy, Peter Arpin, President of Arpin Renewable Energy and Executive Vice President of Arpin Group said, “There is no question that myself and the Cardi brothers feel we have had a positive role in helping to promote green energy in Rhode Island. What was a novelty in 2010 is now commonplace. Today you can find an EV charging station almost anywhere you look in Rhode Island and we are extremely proud in knowing that we’ve helped spark the Ocean State’s adaptation of clean energy.”
Back in 2010, all EV operators who used the station were permitted to charge their vehicles absolutely free by using a complementary swipe card provided at the West Warwick Cardi’s Furniture and Mattresses’ location. That complementary public service is still available today. The very first EV charging station in Rhode Island has provided thousands of free charges and continues to help promote and educate the public on the benefits of clean energy and going green.