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Jim Motovalli and the Greening of Wilton Connecticut

One of the oldest towns in America may be among the first to go green. Wilton Connecticut already has a charging station at its library, where Jim Motovalli, author of “High Voltage: The Fast Track to Plug in the Auto Industry” will speak today – not bad for a town of 18,062.
Posted: September 9, 2012 - 3:06PM
Author: Don Bain


Of course, Greening takes a little green, and since Wilton has been rated one of the most affluent communities in the country by CNNMoney, they can afford to embrace the EV movement.

CNN reported a median annual income of $192,362 and that the average home sells for $1,000,000 and a little change.

Motovalli is a freelance journalist, speaker, book author, radio personality and authority on all things environmental who writes a weekly blog for The New York Times, will be the first speaker in a series sponsored by Wilton Go Green and the municipal library, according to a post by Jeannette Ross on His talk will take place from 4:30 to 6 pm.

"One of our objectives is to educate Wilton on ways to live sustainably," Jana Bertkau, president of Wilton Go Green, told the Bulletin. "We look constantly for ways of doing this. One of the ideas that came up was a speaker series.”

The installation of car charger at the library made Motovalli a very appropriate first speaker.

"We have a charging station at the library now. We would love to get some more — at the train station, maybe town hall. With the new CAFE regulations, there may be more of an interest in driving electric vehicles. We want Wilton to be ahead of the curve," she said.

Naturally copies of Motavalli's book will be available for purchase along with a reception following the talk. If you happen to live nearby, visit and click on Events or call 203-762-3950, ext. 213 to register for the series.

Motovalli casts a upbeat if cautious look at the automotive industry’s move towards electric vehicles. He addresses major players such as Chevrolet, Nissan and Toyota as well as startups like Tesla, Fisker and others.

"I also look at tiny startups like Wheego in Atlanta, with five employees that built a car on $5 million," not much for a new car. "It's a tiny thing like the smart car called LiFe."

His talk will be accompanied by a Powerpoint presentation revealing how the relative simplicity of electric vehicle design allows newcomers to get into the game, but also how many fell flat in the process, even after raising up to $30 or $40 million in financing. These companies put too much faith in obtaining a government loan, according to Motovalli.

So if well-heeled little towns like Wilton, Connecticut can or do go green, what does that say for the rest of us?

Let’s hope it’s not another one of those trickle-down or domino theories.