BY RANDY BILLINGS STAFF WRITER
Officials plan Wednesday to unveil two new charging stations for electric vehicles in Portland, city officials announced Tuesday afternoon.The new stations will be located at the Temple Street and Spring Street parking garages.
There are about 40 charging stations in Maine, including nearly 20 in Greater Portland and the southern midcoast region, according to the Sunrise Guide, which provides information about healthy and sustainable lifestyles.
At least two of those are in Portland – one at the Fore Street Parking Garage and at Revision Energy on Presumpscot Street. Scarborough and South Portland have three stations each, including one at the South Portland Community Center. Last fall, Portland installed its first two Level II EV charging stations in the Elm Street Garage, and added a 2014 Nissan Leaf plug-in electric vehicle to its fleet, the city said. One of the existing charging stations is for public use, while the other is exclusively for the city’s Leaf, which is used by the Inspections Division and shared among other city employees to encourage use.
Electric vehicles are a way to decrease pollution and lower fuel and maintenance costs, the city said, noting that a charge can last four to five hours for the Leaf, which has a range of 80 to 100 miles per charge.
The Iberdrola USA Foundation awarded the council of governments a $50,000 grant to fund the hardware and installation of electric vehicle charging stations in Central Maine Power’s territory, the city said.
So far, seven charging stations have been installed at municipal buildings and other locations. The installations include the two Level II EV chargers the city is unveiling in its parking garages. Two parking spaces are provided at each charging station.
Portland Mayor Michael Brennan will be joined by city councilors as well as representatives from the Greater Portland Council of Governments and the Iberdrola USA Foundation, which focuses on environmental sustainability initiatives.