Reading, MA -– On Wednesday, May 9, 2018, Reading Municipal Light Department (RMLD) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its offices to commemorate its new electric vehicle and the installation of a public electric vehicle (EV) charging station. The addition of a 100% electric vehicle and public EV charging station further RMLD’s ongoing commitment to Be Efficient, Get Greener, and Go Paperless. Electric vehicles offer significant environmental benefits as well as reduced fuel costs for EV owners.
RMLD’s new 100% electric Chevrolet Bolt replaced a first-generation hybrid vehicle, and has a range of up to 238 miles at full charge. This vehicle will decrease RMLD’s fleet emissions and is estimated to reduce RMLD’s fleet fuel costs by $500 to $1,000 per year.
The new public electric vehicle charging station is located alongside RMLD’s main building at 230 Ash Street in Reading. The station was partially funded by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Electrical Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP) Workplace Charging Grant, which provided approximately $3,300 toward equipment costs. The station provides AC level 2 charging at 240-volts at the current RMLD EV rate. The charging station is available to any EV driver who uses the ChargePoint network/app. The availability of a charging station at RMLD increases the accessibility and ease of EV charging, reduces barriers to EV adoption, and provides revenue to the RMLD.
Also known as “destination charging,” AC level 2 charging stations like the one available at RMLD are typically installed at workplaces, homes, hotels, and shopping areas where EV owners normally spend several hours and can conveniently charge their vehicle. Other types of charging include AC level 1, which is equivalent to an ordinary 120-volt household outlet, and DC fast charging, which is the fastest charge type available. Compatibility of electric vehicles to chargers varies based on the type of EV.
There are currently about 100 electric vehicles within RMLD’s service territory and this number is expected to grow. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that sales of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles (that have both a battery and a combustion engine) will account for 9% of total light-duty vehicle sales by 2025. The predicted increase in electric vehicles brings both opportunities and challenges for utilities like RMLD. As EVs enter the grid, the RMLD will be closely watching daily peak load profiles, and emphasizing the importance of charging during off-peak hours when wholesale electricity is less expensive to keep rates affordable.