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Bedford Pursues Electric Car Charging Stations for Public Use

Exact locations have yet to be determined, but the machines would likely be in the area of retail shops and the train station.

If the Town of Bedford is awarded six electric car charging stations, which officials are applying for via a private company, installation could come as soon as early spring.

Staff members are in the midst of putting together a final application, Mark Thielking, Bedford's director of energy resources, said earlier this month. It will be submitted to ChargePoint, an international network of independently-owned charging stations.

"We're hopeful," he told Patch, adding that the selection process is first-come, first-served.

Other municipalities and private agencies are also applying for the machines. Valued at between $5,000 and $7,000 each, officials say, they would be provided for free under an agreement with the California-based company. If Bedford received any of the stations, the town would be responsible for installation and service costs.

The former—which could cost up to $4,000 per station, and may prompt officials to finance with bonds—depends on two things: who does the work and whether there is an already established electrical source nearby.

Thielking said it's possible that town employees would do the setup to save money. They are in the process of doing so now with a station meant for use by parking enforcement officers. That department uses two electric cars, both 2012 Nissan Leaf models.

It's likely that the machines would be placed near shopping districts and/or the train station, but exact locations have yet to be determined.

No electricity at a site would bump up the cost, he added. So officials may weigh the price of installation at an ideal location with no electricity, versus a less-ideal spot with electricity already established.

Thielking foresees minimal maintenance costs. The company charges a yearly fee for each of the two ports on the station. They would be covered by money brought in by motorists, who will pay for the electricity they use.

Lloyd Trufelman February 16, 2013 at 03:01 PM
The Town of Bedford might be able to save money here by having charging stations for its EVs installed by SolarCity. I believe the total cost is approx. $2500 each, for equipment and installation...
John J. Timmel February 16, 2013 at 04:03 PM
They're provided "free?" When will some people ever learn that nothing is provided "free?" Someone is paying for it - or, more likely, sending the bill to their grandchildren to worry about. The cost of the installation and the electricity isn't free either. Is this a legitimate function of a local government that is in a serious struggle every year to remain solvent? Let the handful of people who want electric cars charge up at home or at commercial charging stations. Get back to the basics, Bedford. You're going to have a very tough time keeping your head above water during the next five years.
F. February 16, 2013 at 04:16 PM
On one hand, I welcome the use of renewable energy, on the other hand I hope this wont increase local taxes which are already very high...
John February 16, 2013 at 10:17 PM
The one thing that the Greens seem to forget is that you need fuel to make electricity, be it coal, oil, or nukes, which they all hate anyway. Until someone can build one with the range of a gasoline powered car, at the same cost, EVS will remain just a waste of money.
John Obey February 16, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Bedford has no generators or back up plan for residents during storms yet they can waste money on this crap. Simpy Amazing
Aidan February 16, 2013 at 11:24 PM
Get beanies with propellers for the drivers.
pauline schneider March 07, 2013 at 04:10 PM
It is true that energy does not come free and it has to be generated somehow elsewhere. Let's hope that the energy purchased for these stations comes primarily from renewable sources like wind & solar. The efficiency of the electric vehicles and their lack of pollution in our area is perhaps the prime reason for choosing them. Our pollution levels here are very similar to NYC's due to our proximity to I684, and having local industries that create significant levels of pollution compound that. Pollution is one of the leading killers of citizens, triggering heart attacks, asthma attacks and other illnesses. Any step towards reducing pollution and energy use is a step forward for our town. I applaud these efforts, years in the planning, and do hope that the next thing we work on is a back up power source for all the storms we will continue to be getting. I think our emergency services have them already, which is key. Fire and medical and police are vital in a major, days long power outage. Having electric vehicles that can charge up or stay charged during power outages would be terrific! I will never forget those terrible gas lines that I was able to avoid thanks to my trusty hybrid steed, my Prius. :)

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