Grant supports charging stations

BAR HARBOR — A Climate to Thrive (ACTT) announced that it received a grant of $148,000 from an anonymous donor to install new charging stations for electric vehicles (EV).

This year, working with town officials, ACTT installed publicly-accessible Level II EV charging stations in Southwest Harbor, Trenton, Ellsworth, Belfast, Machias, and Eastport.

The new funds will allow for additional charging sites Downeast, as well as in Bar Harbor, making it easier for local residents and tourists traveling through the region.

“Expanding electric vehicle infrastructure is essential to our goal of sustainable growth for MDI and Downeast,” Dennis Kiley, ACTT Vice-Chair said.

“We are very excited to receive this round of grant funding. It’s a wonderful testament to the work our organization has done, and is committed to continuing.”

ACTT’s work complements a larger statewide effort that so far has been focused in Southern Maine. Some VW legal settlement funds, administered by Efficiency Maine, will be used primarily for more high-traffic locations, along the Maine Turnpike, and on the route to Quebec, Canada.

“EVs are here and will become the future mode of transportation,” ACTT representatives said in a statement. “Since EVs run on batteries, they produce zero emissions on the road. A car like the Chevy Bolt doesn’t even have a tailpipe. Since Maine’s electric grid has a strong mix of renewable sources like wind, hydro, and biomass, the total environmental impact and emissions associated with driving EVs in this region are much lower than average.”

The grant will also enable ACTT to develop more education and outreach programs to generate even more public interest in EVs, an important part of ACTT’s mission to achieve energy independence for MDI by 2030.

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