SAUGUS — The town is considering a bylaw to regulate charging stations for electric cars. 

Building Inspector Fred Varone has received several requests to install stations at Floor and Decor, a flooring store, and other shopping centers in town.

The regulation would be related to how the charging stations factor in to the total amount of spaces at each development, said Peter Rossetti, chairman of the Planning Board. 

“The building inspector is concerned because he has two or three requests right now,” said Rossetti. “It’s something we have to think about.”

The town has its own ChargePoint Charging Station for two electric vehicles behind the Department of Public Works on Main Street that is free for residents to use. The station was installed two years ago and has a Level-2 charger, which falls between a DC Fast Charger, which can charge a vehicle for up to 40 miles of use in about 10 minutes, and a Level-1 charger, which is comparable to plugging the car into a household outlet. A Level-1 charger takes about 22 hours to fully charge a car battery, according to PlugInAmerica.org.

The Department of Public Works and Parking Enforcement Department personnel use electric vehicles while on the job.

With grant funding, the town purchased two electric 2016 Nissan Leaf S Hatchbacks and installed a charging station for a total cost of about $53,000. 

Saugus received $22,500 for the investment through Phase III of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Electric Vehicles Incentive Program (MassEVIP). The remaining cost was covered by Green Community grant funding. 

At the time, Town Manager Scott Crabtree said that he was proud that the town was taking steps to become more environmentally friendly.

“This investment in electric vehicles will help continue our progress towards greater energy conservation and cleaner energy within the community,” he said.

AvalonBay Community’s $100 million development also has 12 charging stations for electric cars in a residential parking area. Developers modified the design plans in 2017 to include the spaces.

As the Planning Board considers a zoning bylaw related to the charging stations, Rossetti said it will look at where they should be located and how they should be counted toward the required number of parking spaces. 

 

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