Easthampton backs electric vehicles with charging stations

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  • An electric vehicle charging station with two dual port chargers has been installed on Lovefield Street in Easthampton, in a new 12-space parking area just north of the roundabout with Ferry and Pleasant streets. The stations are scheduled to be operational by May. Two other stations installed near City Hall are already up and running. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • An electric vehicle charging station with two dual port chargers has been installed on Lovefield Street in Easthampton, in a new 12-space parking area just north of the roundabout with Ferry and Pleasant streets. The stations are scheduled to be operational by May. Two other stations installed near City Hall are already up and running. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 1/4/2021 8:00:20 PM

EASTHAMPTON — The city has installed four new electric vehicle charging ports that can collectively accommodate up to eight cars at a time near the Ferry Street roundabout and City Hall.

The most recent pair of charging stations, located in a parking area off of Lovefield Street near the intersection of Pleasant and Ferry street, are installed but will likely not be ready for use until May due to COVID-19 slowing the development process. Additional road and sidewalk work will also be completed in the area. 

The other pair of stations, at City Hall, went operational in late September and are currently available for use. Each station has ports to charge two cars at once.

The charging stations are part of an effort to make Easthampton a more ecofriendly community, said City Planner Jeff Bagg, adding that the project uses “grant-funded technology to make Easthampton more sustainable and greener.”

Most of the funding for the charging stations came from a $12,800 grant from the state’s Electric Vehicle Incentive Program, with additional financial assistance from the state Department of Environmental Protection, the state’s Green Communities Program and an Eversource program that covered the installation of underground wiring.

The city charges $2 per hour hour to use the stations set up at City Hall, which Bagg said should eventually cover the cost of the electricity needed to power the chargers. The city will set a fee for the Lovefield Street charging stations once they are operational.

Bagg credited Mayor Nicole LaChapelle as the driving force behind the project. In a letter endorsing the city’s application for the charging stations last winter, LaChapelle wrote that the stations play a valuable role in “the ‘greening’ of our community and region.

“From our business community to our artisans to our families, public support of such stations is identified as needed for current EV vehicles, but also for the encouragement to others to purchase EV vehicles,” she wrote.

The Lovefield Street charging stations are part of a project nearly two decades in the making to redevelop Easthampton’s mill district, as detailed in a 2002 plan. According to Bagg, “the redevelopment of Ferry Street is one of those final pieces for that 2002 to come complete.”

The redevelopment of Ferry Street in itself is a 10-year project, Bagg said, “and we’re very much in year two.”

The city’s next focus area is the intersection at Parsons Street and Ferry Street, he said.




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