The City of Melrose recently added two vehicles to its fleet: Ford Focus battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that will be used by City Engineer Andrew Street and Fire Prevention Officer Captain John White. The vehicles’ batteries will charge overnight at the newly installed ChargePoint electric vehicle charging station located in the parking lot behind City Hall.
“The City of Melrose has made a significant effort to reduce its carbon footprint over the past three years,” said Mayor Rob Dolan. “We have made our schools and other City buildings more energy efficient and installed LED bulbs in our Victorian streetlights. This is another area where we can make a smart choice that reduces emissions without sacrificing performance.”
The BEVs were partially funded through a $15,000 grant award from the Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (EVIP), available from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The level 2 charging station and installation was completely funded by an additional $15,000 EVIP grant secured for the City by Martha Grover, Energy Efficiency Manager.
The BEVs can get 80-100 miles from a single battery charge for just a few dollars. Grover estimates that the annual electric costs to run each car will be just $150. And without an internal combustion engine, as in hybrid or fossil fuel vehicles, there is no need for oil changes or other regular maintenance other than the brakes, tires, and windshield wipers.
“It’s a great little car that drives a lot better than I thought it would,” said Captain White. Street agreed, saying “I don’t miss my old pick-up truck. The electric Ford Focus is great for getting around Melrose to all of my job sites.”
The dual-charging station in the City Hall parking lot is available to the public for use during the day from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Resident Evan Shu, owner of an electric vehicle, said, “I was overjoyed when I found out about them using the PlugShare app, because their location is perfect for my errands in town. The metropolitan Boston area has too few electric car chargers in the area, so it is always a cause for celebration for electric car owners when new ones go in. It makes me proud to live in a city that is taking the lead in energy saving with both Melrose’s recent solar initiative and now the installation of these new electric car charging stations.”