Grant enables town to add electric vehicle charging station

Jan. 14, 2020 | Sarah Heinonen

AGAWAM – Driving an electric vehicle in Agawam just got a little more convenient. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP) awarded the town with a grant for an electric vehicle (EV) charging station that has been installed outside the Agawam Public Library.

“The state has really done a great job incentivizing the purchase of electric vehicles,” said Marc Strange, director of planning and community development for Agawam.

As Strange explained, one of the hurdles to wider EV ownership is “range anxiety,” the fear of having enough battery life to commute and travel as desired. The installation of charging stations is designed to mitigate that concern.

The $3,064,25 grant was awarded as part of the MassEVIP Workplace Charging (WPC) Program, which is specifically designed to provide grant funds for charging stations at workplaces with 15 or more employees. The grant pays 60 percent of the cost of EV charging stations up to a maximum of $50,000 per street address.

The state offers three other programs for different types and locations of EV charging stations, the Public Access Charging Program, the Multi-Unit Dwelling Charging Program and the MassEVIP Fleets Program.

The charging station at the library is one of three in town. The other two, at Borgatti Field and School Street Park, were paid for with town funds, Strange said.

“If we’re truly going to be a green community we have to promote all the aspects of green living, including electric vehicles,” Mayor Bill Sapelli said. He added, “We have to give the community the options that make [Agawam] a place people want to live.”

In a press release on the new charging station, the town expressed support for employers installing the stations as a way to “enhance employee benefits packages, which can help with employee recruitment and retention, demonstrate environmental leadership to employees, patrons, and the surrounding community and improve employee commuting practices and reduce vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.”

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wrote on 1/14/2020 at 4:54:14 PM

There is a comprehensive directory of Massachusetts EV Chargers here - < a href="">< /a>