The Vineyard will soon be surrounded on all sides by communities making the jump to next-generation energy infrastructure. On July 22 Falmouth, Nantucket and New Bedford each learned that they had won state grants to install electric car recharging stations, but for now the Vineyard will remain wedded to gasoline.

Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. took to the Lexington battle green just over a week ago to announce the awarding of some 94 electric vehicle charging stations in 25 communities across the commonwealth. The Vineyard missed the cut and it wasn’t a close call. No Island communities applied for the state grants, EEA spokesman Catherine Williams told the Gazette on Monday.

“There was an open solicitation for applications announced in October of 2010 and the deadline for those applications was in December,” she said. “It was announced on the state department of energy resources Web site, it was posted on the commonwealth procurement Web site and it was announced to state green communities and municipal and environmental stakeholders.”

The new stations will be located on downtown streets, parking garages, at shopping malls, schools, colleges, and commercial, medical and industrial parks. The state dispensed almost $1 million in grants for the new stations, funded through a combination of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money along with money secured by Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office through a settlement with an Ohio-based power plant for pollution control equipment violations in 2007.

On Monday Paul Pimental, who serves on the board of directors for the Island renewable energy cooperative Vineyard Power, was taken aback by the developments.

“To be perfectly honest with you I think we’re taken a little bit by surprise,” he said. “If I had known about it I certainly would have encouraged some of our towns to apply.”

The Island has long been seen as an ideal home for electric car technology; it is difficult to chart a route on the Island much longer than 20 miles and the speed limit never exceeds 45 miles per hour. The Island Plan, a long-term planning document published in 2009 by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, calls for the adoption of electric vehicles on the Island which could be served by renewable energy from offshore wind turbines and Island solar panels, making the Island truly energy independent.

“The Vineyard could be the ideal location for a prototype installation of innovative vehicles,” the plan says, “. . . because only a small number of prototype fueling stations would be needed to service a fleet of experimental cars kept permanently on-Island.”

The technology is no longer in the experimental stage, however, with at least two major car manufacturers rolling out electric vehicles last year: Nissan’s Leaf and Chevrolet’s Volt. Unlike a Toyota Prius, which combines a gasoline engine with an electric one, the Volt and Leaf depend on an electric engine that can be recharged with a gasoline generator if the charge runs out. All-electric choices exist as well, such as the Tesla Roadster which sports a top speed of 125 mph and can travel over 240 miles on a single charge. The cars are difficult to purchase outside of areas with electric recharging infrastructure though.

Some Islanders are moving ahead with or without the towns. Island sustainable pioneer Anna Edey is in the market for an electric car and has her eye on the Chinese-made, all-electric Byd E-6.

“It’s disappointing,” she said about the fumbled grant opportunity. “There’s a desperate need here to replace the oil guzzlers with electric cars.”

Ms. Edey’s renewable energy of choice is solar and she says a switch to a green energy will have stabilizing economic effects in the face of rising oil costs. She has photovoltaic panels on her roof that she plans to use to power her electric vehicle, but she said the need for public charging stations is clear.

“Of course we need an Island charging station,” she said. “When we go with electric cars the solar panels will actually save us money compared to gasoline.”

Other attempts to bring charging stations to the Island have stalled. In January, Island business owner Clarence A. (Trip) Barnes 3rd appeared before the Martha’s Vineyard Commission to propose a mixed electric car recharging and gas refueling station on land that he owns on High Point Lane in Vineyard Haven. The commission has rejected plans for gas stations on the site before; Mr. Barnes’s matter is still before the planning agency.

For now Mr. Pimental said his cooperative may pursue smaller demonstration charging stations before publicly-accessible stations come ashore.

“The first charging stations for us will be prototypes put in some of our members’ homes for people who already have electric cars or electric hybrids,” he said. But Mr. Pimental thinks stations on public land are overdue.

“It certainly seems like an incredibly logical thing to think about for the town park-and-rides, for example,” he said.

Mr. Pimental said it was imperative for the Island eventually to make the switch to electric. “To take full advantage of wind and solar, we need to be able to store energy,” he said, “and storing energy in electric vehicle batteries on the Island is a perfect opportunity.”