CAVENDISH, Vt. – Cavendish’s new Electric Vehicle Charging Station is expected to be up and running by the end of the week, marking the successful achievement of a five-year goal and offering free electric vehicle charging for at least the first year.
The EV charging station, a Level 2 240-volt unit, is installed next to a single designated parking space along the Proctorsville Green on Depot Street and is the pride of the town’s Energy Committee, which includes Board Chair Peter LaBelle, Mary Ormrod, and the late Dan Sullivan.
According to LaBelle, the idea for installing an EV charging station started over five years ago, even while former Town Manager Richard Svec was still in office, and began when LaBelle became aware of an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Grant through the state of Vermont’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development. The EVSE program required a 20% match from the town, something they could accomplish with “services in-kind,” with the town’s highway maintenance crew doing all the site work including laying the concrete slab.
Despite an initial proposal that was turned down, the Energy Committee remained undaunted and, working with the Department of Transportation, retooled the proposal, which included a change to the Proctorsville Green location.
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic also added to delays and hampered efforts to find a company to install the charging unit, but finally HB Energy Solutions in Springfield was hired for the final setup.
All that remains is the final hook up from Ludlow Electric, which is expected this week. Once live, the parking space will be designated only for electric vehicles that are using the EV charging unit. Final signage and painting of the EV parking spot on the asphalt will both happen in the spring.
The Cavendish Selectboard will decide after the first year whether they will need to charge for the service in the future based on the costs, but for now they are excited to see the unit being used.
Although LaBelle isn’t certain how many electric vehicles are currently in Cavendish, he feels that having the charging station will help encourage residents who may be considering an EV in their future. “Looking for ways to encourage energy conservation in any form has been an ongoing goal for the Energy Committee and for Cavendish,” he said.
For details on EV vehicles and a map of other Vermont charging stations, visit www.driveelectricvt.com.