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Derry in line to receive electric vehicle charging stations

By CHRIS GAROFOLO
Union Leader Correspondent

January 05. 2018 10:39PM
The Tesla Corp. is providing Derry with four electric vehicle charging stations at the town's municipal center parking lot. (REUTERS/Stringer)



DERRY — The Tesla Corp. is providing Derry with four electric vehicle charging stations at the town’s municipal center parking lot.

Derry officials say introducing electric vehicle (EV) stations in the downtown area was identified as an action item for the Town Council and, through several municipal agencies, found Tesla offers necessary equipment and a large portion of the installation costs for such projects. Each EV station costs roughly $1,000 and the installation will run about $8,300, with Tesla picking up about $6,000 of the tab.

“So the town would be covering the difference, which is just over $2,300,” said Mike Fowler, director of the Derry Department of Public Works.

Brentwood-based ReVision Energy recently approached Derry boards with information about Tesla programs to subsidize as much as 80 percent of project costs, Fowler said. Three of the stations are designed solely for Tesla models while the fourth is nonproprietary and is available to any electric vehicle.

While the specific type of charging station was not identified for the Derry site, ReVision Energy has reported Level-2 charging sites are the most common for business and municipal use. There are about 70 such stations in the Granite State for an estimated 1,000 plug-in vehicles, but there are nearly 400 all-type stations within a 30-mile radius of Derry, according to solvingev.com.

Because the donation’s value is expected to exceed $10,000, the town will hold a Jan. 16 public hearing on the resolution.

Town Council Chairman Josh Bourdon, who also serves on the town’s Net Zero Task Force Committee, called the gift a “no-brainer.”

“Nothing is a done deal in life, but there’s no reason it shouldn’t go through,” Bourdon said, praising Fowler and the DPW for striving for efficiencies and looking for ways to save taxpayers money.

“Tesla is very eager to set these stations up. They’ve got, I want to say, 300,000 cars on preorder. All projections are saying that this is the future,” he said.

The Derry Municipal Center parking lot was a logical choice given its proximity to downtown and the fact that there is an existing electrical network at the site. The lot has previously served as a farmers’ market location and power was often required for some of the vendors.

The four EV charging units would be installed in the back row, closest to McAllister Court.

“Our goal through this is to be a viable option for a different market of commuter and tourist,” Bourdon said. “All these different (EV) drivers have apps that notify them of where the charging stations are; our hope is that after we put these in, we’ll be a stop or an available charging station on their route.”

Fowler said the EV charging stations would be free to employees at the municipal center and to the general public. Most vehicles would charge in about four hours, which under the current model, Derry would initially cover the cost of that electricity.

“What we’ve been told in terms of costs to expect — it costs about a dollar for an hour for each vehicle that’s charged. We don’t know what the utilization rate is going to be, but we’ve conservatively estimated that we’d be looking at about $1,000 to 1,500 a year in electricity costs,” Fowler said. “Now, that doesn’t preclude the town at a later date from having a cost recovery mechanism.”

Attempts to contact Tesla were unsuccessful.


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