October 19, 2022 By Carol Britton Meyer
Four new EV charging stations were installed by Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant around Hingham last week -- two at Station Street, one at Carlson Field by Bare Cove Park, and one at the South Shore Country Club -- thanks to a $150,000 Department of Energy Resources grant to install these public access stations -- with more to come.
These FLO CoRe+ dual-port level-2 charging stations will be available to anyone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be spotted by looking for parking spots outlined in green and labeled “EV charging only.”
HMLP is hopeful that these electric vehicle charging stations will attract EV drivers to Hingham, creating more business for the local economy.
Access to charging is a big factor in making people feel comfortable buying an electric vehicle. By installing these stations in town, HMLP is participating in the movement toward electrification.
To use the stations, motorists can use a charging station card (ChargePoint cards will still work with the FLO charging network) that is connected to their credit card.
The stations do charge a fee for the electricity, but "filling up the tank" should cost less than half the price of a gas fill-up, according to HLMP officials.
HMLP General Manager Thomas Morahan called this "an exciting opportunity for Hingham drivers and visitors. Not only will the EV charging stations support local EV drivers, but we expect them to attract more business for the local economy as travelers take a few hours to park downtown, 'fill up,' and shop. HMLP is happy to be furthering the Hingham community’s access to electric infrastructure as we look toward a net-zero future."
In order to ensure that the charging stations are open and accessible as much as possible, an "idle fee" is issued to owners of cars that have finished charging but remain plugged in.
It’s important to unplug an EV and move to a regular parking spot once charging is completed so that others may use the station.
The idle fee is between $1 to $3 dollars per hour depending on the time of day and does not kick in until after a 30-minute grace period from when the customer finishes charging. On average, customers spend about two hours charging at a time with level-2 stations.
HMLP has submitted additional grant applications and has heard back on another one already.
Earlier this year, HMLP was awarded $175,000 to install two level-3 fast-charging stations in Hingham. Within the next year, one fast-charging station will be installed in the Station Street parking lot and the other at Lynch Field near Stop and Shop. These stations can charge an EV in 30 minutes.
The grant from the state for these four installations covered a large portion of the cost.
"Given that the money was available, HMLP felt that this was a great opportunity to add public EV charging to a number of public locations in town," Morahan said.
"The state and Town of Hingham have committed to moving to Net Zero, and this was an opportunity to offer Hingham ratepayers an option for public charging without a large investment of ratepayer dollars."
HMLP is also encouraging customers to install their own charging stations. With its commercial EV program, customers can receive up to $6,000 from HMLP to install a public access charging station along with available state grant funds.
Residents who are considering electric vehicles can receive a $300 benefit for their own charging station at home as well as a $5 or $10 monthly bill credit if they sign up to charge during ‘off-peak’ hours in the evening, when most EV drivers already charge their vehicles.
Residential charging stations must be level-2 and WiFi-enabled to receive the bill credit.
For more information about the "Hingham Drives Electric program, visit https://hmlp-ev.ene.org/contact/.