Town adds 2 new electric vehicles to fleet
By Robert Fucci
Town Administrator Jim Smith charges one of the Chevy Bolt all-electric cars the town purchased on Nov. 7 through two grants. COURTESY PHOTO
Thanks to grants from the Department of Energy Resources and the Department of Environmental Protection, the Town of Sutton recently purchased two fully electric Chevy Bolts.
Worth more than $37,000 each, the purchases were fully covered by the grant.
“We got them on Nov. 7,” Energy Manager Doreen DeFazio said. “There’s also a charging station that was 100 percent paid for by DEP worth $4,000.
The charging station is hooked up to the Rufus Putnam building.
“Being a green community, we decided in this last round of grants from Green Communities to apply for two electric vehicles and a dual purpose charging station that is available to the public,” DeFazio said.
One of the cars is for the town administrator’s use, and the other is at the fire station (headquarters) but can be signed out by any staff member.
The Fire Department has training seminars in Stow. Instead of having firefighters use gas mileage that the town would reimburse, they can use the electric car, which costs less to charge than it would fill a gas car.
“(The Bolts travel) approximately 250 miles (when fully charged),” DeFazio said.
Part of the grant was to install a dual charging station that is available for public use.
“The state agencies are trying to encourage more usage of electric vehicles,” DeFazio said. “So by funding the town in these programs, they’re able to get more charging stations out there, which also seems to be the issue of why people won’t buy electric vehicles. They take a while to charge, and there’s not a lot of charging stations. So Sutton is stepping up to try and get more charging stations in town. It puts Sutton on the map as being a Green Community.”
The town has two HD-40 charging stations, which is considered a middlegrade charging station. To recharge one of the cars, it takes about four hours.
“There are some (charging stations) that take all day,” DeFazio said. “And there are some that you can do in 30 minutes.”
The town is also looking into installing more charging stations.
“We’re working with the developer at Galaxy on Route 146 to put in fast chargers for phase three of that location,” DeFazio said.
She said the town might look into adding two more all-electric cars to its fleet.
“Potentially we could get two more,” she said. “The Senior Center is interested in having one for Meals on Wheels and one to take seniors to appointments. I’m going to be looking at our entire fleet to see if there’s a potential need for more. We started conservatively with two, two that we absolutely needed.”
DeFazio said a fast-charging station on Route 146 would make most sense due to the high traffic between Sutton and Worcester.
“We do have residents in town who do use the charging stations,” she said. “There’s no fee. We’ll probably put in a third charging station if we apply for more vehicles in the next round of grants.”