The North Suffolk Office of Resilience & Sustainability (NSORS), in partnership with the City of Revere, City of Chelsea, and Town of Winthrop, recently obtained a $100,000 grant to develop a regional plan for electric vehicle charging station infrastructure.
The grant was funded through the state Community Compact Cabinet Energy Efficiency & Regionalization Program. The goal of the project is to create a plan for charging stations and related electrical infrastructure, as well as a pricing model that is fair and equitable for the three communities. Weston & Sampson have been selected as the lead consultant to conduct the scope of work through a competitive procurement process.
“One important aspect of this project is to understand how the network could be more equitable, potentially charging a lower rate for vehicles owned by low- and moderate-income residents in the region, and a different rate for vehicles that are coming from outside of the community,” said Ibrahim López-Hernández, NSORS Sustainability Manager. “This could become a revenue source for the region to fund continued operations, maintenance, and expansion of the system.”
Revere Planning and Community Development Director Tom Skwierawski said Revere was an aggressive early adopter of EV charging, installing several free public charging stations throughout the city.
“Our next challenge will be in determining how to take that work to scale, as EVs become more commonplace throughout the region,” he said. “We hope this plan will help us build a sustainable and equitable process for supporting the transition to clean energy vehicles in the city, and across the north Suffolk region.”
Alex Train, Director of Housing & Community Development in Chelsea said the grant and plan will help galvanize an equitable transition to clean energy that benefits Chelsea residents and requires making public transportation and electric vehicles affordable, reliable, and convenient for residents.
“We’re grateful to the Healey-Driscoll Administration, Chelsea City Council, and our partners in Revere and Winthrop for the opportunity to create a model system that works for residents,” said Train.
Last summer, Revere Chief Financial Officer Richard Viscay said the city was looking to establish a revolving fund for electric vehicle charging stations.
Viscay said the city has been offering electric vehicle charging stations free of charge in the city, but as the number of stations and vehicles increases, the city may look to collect some revenue from the stations to help pay for their upkeep.
Electric vehicles are an important part of the region’s strategy to reduce emissions through the electrification of infrastructure, according to the NSORS. In total, transportation by passenger vehicles accounts for approximately 28% of total emissions in the North Suffolk region (Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop), representing some 185,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent released into the atmosphere. The project will evaluate the current state of EV charging stations, develop plans for new locations for charging infrastructure, and put forth recommendations regarding pricing and operations.
The North Suffolk EV Charging Plan project held its kickoff meeting this April, and the team expects the plan to be completed by early 2024. In parallel, the NSORS is also pursuing state and federal grant funding to continue the installation of charging stations.