WINCHESTER - Thanks to the work of the Climate Action Advisory Committee, the Select Board authorized the town to apply for a MassEVIP grant for two high speed charging stations for electric vehicles and the spots to place the stations: Skillings Field parking lot and/or Shore Road.
According to Climate Action Advisory Committee Chair Ruth Trimarchi, the state is headed toward net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and the governor proclaimed that all new cars must be electric by 2035.
“There’s going to be increased and sustained funding for electric vehicles,” Trimarchi noted.
She said the MassEVIP grant comes from the Department of Environmental Protection and covers hardware installation costs up to $50,000 per station. She proposed the Skillings Field lot and Shore Road due to their walkability to downtown and the high school, plus their visibility.
She suggested other possible locations could include Ginn Field, WinCAM headquarters, Wright-Locke Farm, or the MBTA Winchester Center Commuter Rail Station (currently under construction). She asked the board to authorize two parking spots at two locations plus additional spots for future use.
The town already has several electric vehicle charging stations around town at the high school and at Town Hall, but those take eight hours for a full charge. Trimarchi said the high speed stations can charge an electric vehicle in 30-60 minutes.
Another member of the Climate Action Advisory Committee, Wei Chen, told the board the current EV stations are “frequently used.” When asked by Select Board member Amy Shapiro how many residents use electric vehicles, he said about one percent.
According to Trimarchi, her committee hasn’t reached out to the School Committee yet, but she said she’d be happy to do that. She has reached out to the Transportation and Traffic Advisory Committee.
The board happily supported her proposal.