PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — An old Stop & Shop is being transformed into a spot to deliver, sell and service Teslas.
About 55 people are working on the design and construction of the facility, according to Paolino Properties, and nearly 30 full-time jobs are also expected to be available once the hub is open in early 2024.
Paolino Properties is overseeing the project’s current stage of construction.
Former Providence Mayor and Paolino Properties Managing Director Joseph Paolino Jr. said Tuesday over $10 million would be invested into creating the new 76,000-square-foot electric vehicle hub in Providence’s Reservoir Triangle neighborhood.
“This is going to be the largest hub in Southern New England,” Paolino said.
The Tesla location in Providence will be the company’s second location in Rhode Island. In 2019, the company opened up a sales showroom in Warwick.
In May, the McKee administration announced that the state is looking to phase out the sale of new gas-powered vehicles in Rhode Island by 2035. McKee also said he wants the state to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“With transportation responsible for around 40% of Rhode Island’s greenhouse gas emissions, we know we must rein in carbon pollution by slashing tailpipe emissions from cars, trucks and SUVs,” McKee said.
With more EVs on the roads, McKee said there will be more places to charge them.
“We’ve invested a great deal of dollars, put a lot of resources, and now we’re depending on our energy office to be working with the different partners to make that happen,” the governor said.
Providence Mayor Brett Smiley said the city is also making an effort to make charging ports more accessible. He said his administration recently met with an official from the U.S. Department of Energy to discuss a federal grant program to build out a charging network.
“We’re going receive about $220,000 from the federal government that we will use to increase charging stations in public spaces and that’s going be something that we continue to invest in,” Smiley said.
Last June, the governor announced an EV rebate program called “DRIVE EV,” which gives money back to those who buy or lease an EV in Rhode Island. The program officially kicked off on July 7, 2022.
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The R.I. Office of Energy Resources (OER) told Target 12 that since then, 700 rebates have been issued. Of those rebates, 399 — or 43% — were given to Tesla drivers.
Additional data from the OER shows a majority of people applying for the rebates are from Providence.
The OER announced modifications to the DRIVE EV program that went into effect on Tuesday.
The office said participation in the Medicare program will no longer make an applicant eligible for the DRIVE+ program. Applicants may still qualify if they participate in any of the other eligible programs or submit a self-attestation form of income.
The OER also announced vehicles purchased from some nearby Massachusetts dealerships will qualify for the rebate program, but only if they were purchased or leased on or after Aug. 1.
List of Mass. Dealerships eligible for DRIVE EV
- First Ford — 292 William S. Canning Boulevard Fall River, MA 02721
- Volkswagen of North Attleboro — 563 Kelley Boulevard #152, North Attleboro, MA 02760
- Boch Nissan South — 685 S Washington Street, North Attleboro, MA 02760
- Boch Toyota South — 620 S Washington Street, North Attleboro, MA 02760
- Patriot Subaru of North Attleboro — 551 S Washington Street, North Attleboro, MA 02760
- Kia of Attleboro — 795 Newport Avenue South Attleboro, MA 02703
- Stateline Subaru — 1451 Brayton Point Road, Somerset, MA 02725
- Courtesy Mitsubishi — 11 Scott Street, Attleboro, MA 02703
- Milford Nissan — 320 E Main Street, Milford, MA 01757