Greenfield gets 2 more electric car chargers

Recorder/Peter MacDonald 
New electric car charging stations are now available at two locations in Greenfield. This one is in the parking lot at the end of Miles Street.

Recorder/Peter MacDonald New electric car charging stations are now available at two locations in Greenfield. This one is in the parking lot at the end of Miles Street.

GREENFIELD — There are now three spots in town where people driving electric-powered vehicles can recharge them.

The state has awarded the town and installed two electric vehicle charging stations, one on Miles Street parking lot near the Energy Park and one in the Chapman-Davis streets municipal parking lot. Both can charge two vehicles at one time.

Greenfield Community College received a single-vehicle station from Western Massachusetts Electric Co., which was installed at the north end of the main campus.

Carole Collins, the town’s energy-sustainability coordinator, said she applied for a grant to purchase and install the charging stations in late 2010, but said there were some delays.

“Finally, they are all set and ready to be used,” said Collins. “We’ll be putting up the signs in the next couple of weeks.”

Mayor William Martin has designated two parking spaces for each of the downtown stations. He said people will have to pay to park their vehicles while recharging.

All four spots are located in lots with four-hour limits, which he said should be plenty of time to recharge.

Drivers whose time expires will be charged the same $10 expired meter fine as others. Drivers of non-electric vehicles who park in those designated spots will be fined $35.

Martin said the town will revisit that policy at the end of the year to assess usage of the station spaces, and will increase fines if necessary.

“These charging stations are yet another example of how Greenfield continues to lead the way in sustainability,” said Martin.

The stations were awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.

“We are grateful to DOER for awarding Greenfield this important grant to encourage the use of electric cars, as part of the grant will be providing electricity at no charge for the first year of operation,” said Martin.

The mayor said he does not yet know how much it will cost people to recharge after the grant runs out.

GCC President Robert Pura said sustainability is a priority at the college.

“This station will add to the growing list of renewable and sustainable practices on our campus,” he said. “These alternative systems become learning opportunities for our students and good practices for our college.”

Collins said the grant was to encourage electric vehicle use.

She said electric vehicles can currently travel up to 100 miles before needing to be recharged. She said several models will be entering the market this year, some available to lease starting at $199 per month.

“As the electric vehicle market grows and more models become available, Greenfield embraces this new technology, which further reduces our dependence on foreign oil, while greatly reducing the environmental impacts of gas-powered vehicles,” said Collins.

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