By Beth David, Editor
The Town of Fairhaven announced this week that it received a $12,500 grant from MassDEP Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (EVIP) for Level 2 charging stations and two leased electric Chevrolet Bolts for Town use.
The town has also installed two Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations, with two ports each, so a total of four vehicles can charge at the same time. The stations are at the east end of the parking lot near the bike path on the south side of the Board of Public Works garage on Arsene Street. The stations re free for the public to use 24/7.
“No charge for the charge,” noted Fairhaven Select Board member Charles Murphy at the SB meeting on Tuesday, 2/21.
Town Administrator Angie Lopes Ellison said the town may have to charge a fee as time goes on, depending on how many people use the stations. One charging station is for town vehicles and the other is for the general public.
“The vehicles will be used by various departments to minimize their carbon footprint in the town and to increase the use and visibility of electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” wrote the town in a press release. “Fairhaven is looking forward to promoting electric vehicle use by the general public and stakeholders in Fairhaven.”
As a designated Green Community in Mass., Fairhaven is eligible for new sources of funding and grant opportunities. The town is looking to expand its EV fleet and charging stations.
Ms. Ellison told the Neighb News that the cars are best used for local trips, not long distance. The cars “regenerate,” or charge up their batteries when traveling at low speeds or coasting. On the highway, the drain on the battery is more significant.
She has been using one of the vehicles on a regular basis, and is learning how it all works, she said, including a couple of close calls with a low battery. Finding charging stations can still be a challenge.
The display panel shows the battery power and estimates time/ mileage. It also shows when the battery is regenerating and drawing power.
When the charge gets low, it automatically starts shutting down things like heat or air conditioning.
The time it takes to recharge the battery varies with the amount of charge needed and the charging station, from 30 minutes for a 100 milles, to 7.5 hours to fully charge a nearly depleted battery.
The town has two Chevy Bolt EUVs, one white, one gray. One will be assigned to Ms. Ellison to use locally, and the other will be used by any other town employees, such as the inspectors, who need to visit sites in town. When she is tied to the office, Ms. Ellison said her car will also be available to other town employees.
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